Three months before the exhibition opening, the architects received an urgent commission from the curators to transform a 10,000 m2 abandoned air-conditioner factory into an exhibition venue. The subject of the exhibition is said to outline a chronological narrative on the urban development of the local area where the factory locates.
After visiting the site, the architects are impressed by the vast scale as well as the rigid grid-truss system demonstrating the history behind this factory. Therefore, they suggest keeping the original industrial traces as much as possible while applying a minimum intervention which takes form as a light-filled structure in contrast with the existing heavy framework. The 250-meters long “Folded Time-Light-Line”is proposed as continuous membrane walls filled with light to reshape the space to have a linear (chronological) exhibition sequence within a limited construction time (one month).
The main challenges of the project come from limited construction time, restrained budget, and big scale of the space. To respond to these factors, the architects deliberately choose the affordable membrane material which is capable of spanning over 50-meters. With such material, the 250-meters long wall finished its construction within 20 days, and was ready for visitors prior to the exhibition opening.
The translucent membrane allows for seamless installation of single-sided, double-sided, and double-curved light walls. The translucency of the material and the lighting environment also encourage visitors to interact with the installation by adjusting their physical distances to the membrane for engaging light effects.
In recent years, many manufacture plants in Shenzhen and surrounding areas have moved to regions with lower land and labor cost, resulting in a large number of empty factory halls left behind. Through this intervention project, the architects seek to present the general public with the opportunity to transform these post-industrial containers to cultural and art incubators.