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Issue 01: Interview


Ascan Mergenthaler | Utilizing Friction: Achieving Ultimate Potential in Public Space



“摩擦”的潜能: 发掘公共空间的可能性






Ascan Mergenthaler is a Senior Partner at Herzog & de Meuron. He has led the realization of several international projects, including the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the Parrish Art Museum on Long Island, New York, the Tate Modern Project in London, the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, 56 Leonard Street in New York City, and Tai Kwun, Centre for Heritage & Arts in Hong Kong. He is currently working on several high-profile projects, such as the M+, a cultural center for 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture, and the moving image, and the Neue Nationalgalerie - Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts in Berlin. 

© Simon von Gunten (Kneubühl)





“The specific is the most important aspect. When you design something that is specific to a place, you make it also interesting for the general.”




ChinaGSD: Herzog & de Meuron has extensive expertise in designing public spaces; museums, heritage centers, concert halls. In recent years, two prominent examples include Tai Kwun and M+ in Hong Kong. Ideally, what qualities should public spaces have? Can you give an example of public space in Hong Kong that you think embodies those qualities?

赫尔佐格和德梅隆建筑事务所在公共建筑设计方面有丰富的经验,包括博物馆、文物中心、音乐厅。近年来,香港的大馆艺术中心和M+博物馆是两个非常重要的项目你认为在理想情况下,公共空间应该具备哪些品质?你能举出一个你认为能体现这些品质的位于香港公共空间的例子吗?

ASCAN: Public space should be inclusive and inviting. It should create an atmosphere where people feel comfortable and at peace. The nice thing about Hong Kong is people make their own public space or occupy a private space and make it their public space. This is very special to Hong Kong and you do not find this so much in a European city. In this regard, Hong Kong has its own topography of quite unique public spaces with some of them even being temporary.

But to name a concrete example of a successful public space in Hong Kong – and this might be a bit of a cliché - every time I am in Hong Kong, I pass through Hong Kong Park. You have all these different corners and possibilities to sit down, to meet people. At the same time, you can experience nature in all these diverse facets. Most importantly, you are not completely detached, you are still embedded in Hong Kong and feel the bustling city around you. I think that is a perfect public space.

公共空间应具有包容性和吸引力。它应该创造一种让人们感到舒适和安宁的氛围。香港有一点好处在于,人们可以创造自己的公共空间,或者占据某个私人空间,把它变成自己的公共空间。这是香港很特别的地方,在欧洲城市没有这么多类似的现象。从这个意义上来说,香港有一些非常独特的公共空间,有一些甚至是临时的,这是香港的一种本土特质。

如果要让我举一个香港的成功的公共空间的具体例子——我所说的可能有点老生常谈了——我每次来香港,都会经过香港公园。那里有各种各样的角落空间,你可以坐下来,与人们见面。同时,在那里你也可以体验到多种自然的面貌。最重要的是,你并没有完全脱离于都市,你仍然置身于香港,并能感受到周围的繁华。我认为香港公园是一个完美的公共空间。



ChinaGSD: Why do you think Hong Kongers take ownership of private space?

你认为香港为什么会有人们占据私人空间的现象

ASCAN: Firstly, pretty much because everything is private, but also because the city has been designed around these private spaces. In Hong Kong, you don’t only have the typical sidewalk on the street, but you also have these other layers of pedestrian bridges, underpasses and escalators, and at times you even go through the lobby of a commercial building. The public path literally cuts through the private part of the building.

In Europe, there is a strict system of road space, space for pedestrians, smaller squares, larger squares, parks and so on. It is an integral part of city planning. In Hong Kong, or other Asian cities, this is not necessarily the case. There is planning, but it is much more fragmented and there is more improvisation around it. The boundaries between public and private are blurrier. That is an interesting and fascinating concept and experience for us coming from Europe.

首先可能是因为基本上一切空间都是私人的,其次也是因为城市是围绕着这些私人空间设计的。走在香港的街道上,你不仅会经过人行道,还会经过其他层层叠叠的人行天桥、地下通道和自动扶梯,有时你甚至会穿过一栋商业大楼的大堂。公共街道完全可能穿过建筑内部的私人领域。

在欧洲,道路空间、行人空间、小广场、大广场、公园等都有严格的体系。这是城市规划的一个组成部分。而在香港或其他亚洲城市,情况不一定如此。虽然也有规划,但却比较零碎,而且有很多不按规划实行的情况。公共和私人之间的界限更加模糊。对于来自欧洲的我们来说,这是一个有趣而迷人的概念和经验。



ChinaGSD: Many of the cultural projects in your portfolio are based in global cities, which often have a wide range of audiences, identities, and stories to narrate. For example, the M+ mission statement is to advance the visual culture of Hong Kong and also to create a leading global institution. When building public projects of this scale, how do you design for the dichotomy between the local and the global, the specific and the general?

在你的作品中,很多文化项目都位于世界级城市,这些城市往往有多样化的受众、身份和叙事。例如,香港M+博物馆设计使命是推动香港的视觉文化,打造一个全球领先的文化机构。在建造规模的公共建筑项目的过程中,你如何应对本地与全球、独特一般之间的二元对立?

ASCAN: The specific is the most important aspect. When you design something that is specific to a place, you make it also interesting for the general. Otherwise, the building could be anywhere. That is why we always try to make sure that our projects are informed from local context and history, that they specifically answer to a specific need and history, and that is the key for a successful project and its acceptance by the local people. And if it is accepted and loved by the locals, it will also become an attraction for the broader general global audience.

独特性是最重要的一点。当你设计的东西是针对一个地方的时候,你就会希望它对一般人来说也很有趣。否则,这个建筑可以建在任何地方。这就是为什么我们总是试图确保我们的项目从当地的背景和历史中获得信息,他们需要具体地回应某种特定的需求和历史,这是一个项目能成功和被当地人接受的关键。而如果它被当地人接受和喜爱,它也能够吸引更广泛的全球观众。



ChinaGSD: Could you give an example of this specificity?

你能举例说明这种独特性吗?

M+ nearing completion – Herzog & de Meuron © Herzog & de Meuron

ASCAN: M+ is almost like a piece of infrastructure. A platform built on something that we found there, which was this airport express train tunnel.  And rather than hiding it under 3 meters of concrete plate, which is what the client suggested to us in the very first workshops during the competition, we immediately became interested in this piece of subterranean infrastructure because it was the only real existing thing there that we could bite our teeth into, a potential we could unearth because otherwise there was just reclaimed land and no real context you could react to. So we turned an obstacle into an asset and created this very distinct found space that allows for new ways of displaying art and visual culture, and literally anchors M+ in the grounds of Hong Kong.

M+博物馆几乎就像一个基础设施。博物馆的平台层建在机场快线隧道之上。我们并没有把博物馆藏在3米高的混凝土板下——这是客户在竞赛阶段的第一个方案研讨会上向我们提出的建议,相反,我们立即对这块地下的基础设施产生了兴趣,因为它是那里唯一真实存在的东西,我们可以投入精力研究它,挖掘它的潜力,因为除此之外,那里只是填海造的地,没有任何真正的城市环境来作出应对。因此,我们把障碍转化为价值,创造了这个非常独特的空间,以新的方式展示艺术和视觉文化,并使M+博物馆真正地扎根于香港的土地。

M+ Museum Rendering – Herzog & de Meuron© Herzog & de Meuron

And this is the same with the billboard, the tower feature of M+. The building bulk of the gallery spaces did not completely fill the zoning envelope, so we use the tower to fill the maximum height allowed in accordance with zoning of the masterplan. It became a very thin building element that is about transparency. It is about participating in the city when you are in the tower. And vice versa. The embedded bands of LEDs in the façade facing the harbour turn the tower into a huge sign: a billboard within the famous Hong Kong skyline. But the content of this billboard will not be commercial advertisements, but the digital content of the museum. It’s not a typical vertical, very tall LED feature display; it's horizontal, more cinema screen-like. This way, the M+ is also anchored in the sky.

独特性也同样体现在“广告牌”,也就是M+博物馆的塔楼上。博物馆展廊的体量没有完全填满规划的外围限制,所以我们用塔楼来填满总图规划所允许的最大高度。塔楼是一栋非常薄的体现透明性的建筑。当你在塔楼里的时候,你也参与到城市之中,反之亦然。塔楼面向海港的外立面上嵌入的LED灯带将塔楼变成了一个巨大的标志,就像在世界闻名的香港天际线中的竖立起一个广告牌。但这个广告牌的内容不会是商业广告,而是博物馆的数字展示。它不是典型的垂直方向很高的LED显示屏,它是水平的,更像电影院的屏幕。这样一来,M+也“扎根”于香港的天空了。

Another example is the ground floor, which is open to all sides - the M+ doesn’t only have one front door.It’s very inviting, very low threshold, very inclusive. You can approach the building from all sides, and you will be under this large horizontal podium floating like a big roof over the found space.Whether you are outside or inside under this roof, it will give you a sense of protection, and this is very key to Hong Kong. People are looking for this protection from the intense sun or rain, and by offering this we almost lure the people in.

另一个例子是博物馆的首层,它向四面敞开——M+博物馆并不是只有一个正门。它非常吸引人,门槛很低,非常包容。你可以从四面八方走近建筑,然后置身于巨大的水平平台下,它像一个漂浮的大屋顶一样。无论你是在外面还是在这个屋顶下,它都会给你一种安全感,这对香港来说是非常关键的。人们需要建筑物作为遮阳避雨的庇护,博物馆因此能将人们吸引进来。

And then you can bring the specificity all the way to the materiality of M+. Rather than cladding the building with metal, we decided to work with ceramics, which is a very old tradition in Chinese and Asian architecture, especially as a roofing material. There is a reason why this material is on the roofs of old temples: It’s very durable. We want to create a building for 100 years, not just 10 years. That’s maybe a bit different to contemporary Hong Kong commercial buildings made of glass and steel; those buildings have a lifespan of sometimes 10, 15, 20 years. Because the M+ is a culture building and public, it’s made to last for a long time.

这种特殊性贯穿始终,也体现在M+博物馆的材料上。我们没有用金属来覆盖建筑,而是决定使用陶瓷,这是中国和亚洲建筑中非常古老的传统,尤其是作为屋顶材料。这种材料被用在古老寺庙的屋顶是有原因的:它非常耐用。我们希望创造一栋可以使用100年的建筑,而不是10年。这也许与当代香港玻璃和钢结构的商业建筑有些不同,那些建筑的寿命有时只有10年、15年、20年。M+博物馆是一个文化建筑和公共建筑,所以它要能长久地存在下去。


“We are very precise and good observers of what is already there. Sometimes it can even be a certain weakness or awkwardness. We take what is there and turn it into something powerful. ”




ChinaGSD: Cultural projects are often sensitive and contextual in nature, but the context is often highly complex and plural. In an interview you did with Architect Magazine in 2019, you mentioned that in Tai Kwun, the existing informs the new, and the new strengthens the existing, representing the idea of revitalisation. What strategy do you use to decide what existing elements inform the “new”?

文化项目在本质上通常是敏感的和环境相关的,但是环境通常是高度复杂和多元的。在2019年接受《建筑师杂志》采访时,你提到了大馆古迹及艺术馆,现有的启发新的,新的强化现有的,代表着复兴的理念。你用什么策略来决定“新”的现有元素?


ASCAN: I think it’s a very human approach. The things that are most impressive when we have first encounters with the site are the things we’ll want to work with. So, for example when you talk about Tai Kwun, everybody will notice the prison wall that is made of solid granite blocks. This is unique. That’s why, with the cladding of the hovering buildings above the prison walls, we take a very different, perhaps unexpected kind of approach that is much lighter, more contemporary, yet it references in scale and bonding the historically so significant heavy prison walls beneath.

我认为这是非常人性化的方法。当我们第一次接触这个场地时,最令人印象深刻的事情是我们设计时将要碰到的事物。比如说,当你谈到大馆时,每个人都会注意到监狱的墙壁是由坚固的花岗岩砌成的。这是独特的。这就是为什么,在监狱墙壁上方悬浮建筑的覆盖层下,我们采取了一种非常不同的,也许是意想不到的方法,这种方法更轻,更现代,但它在规模上参考并结合了历史上如此重要的厚重的监狱墙壁。

The other thing that struck us when we toured the decommissioned Central Police Station site for the very first time is that there are many different types of spaces, from tight alleys to small squares, to larger squares, plazas, yards and grounds - something we know from the European city. It felt, oddly for a prison, quite comfortable. Perhaps if we get all the barbed wire out, this could be a really interesting space. That is what set the tone in terms of how we defined the spaces we created and our insertion of the new buildings. They pick up this language of very diverse outdoor public spaces and seamlessly continue this story and add to it.

让我们印象深刻的另一件事是当我们第一次参观废弃的中央警察局时,这里有许多不同类型的空间,从狭窄的小巷到小广场,再到更大的广场、中心、和场——这些我们从欧洲城市中了解到。奇怪的是,对于一个监狱来说,这感觉很舒服。也许如果我们把所有的铁丝网都拔掉,这将会是一个非常有趣的地方。这就是我们如何定义我们所创造的空间以及如何插入新建筑的基调。他们学会了这种非常多样的户外公共空间的语言,连贯地延续这个故事,并为它添砖加瓦。


Tate Modern Turbine Hall,
Herzog & de Meuron© Herzog & de Meuron

This initial response is sometimes informed by a physical experience and sometimes a conceptual observation. In the case of the M+ for instance, we never saw the airport express train tunnel, we just heard of it and saw it in a plan, and we were immediately intrigued by it and understood its enormous potential. I think that you must have this strong impetus that triggers a certain direction and you work on that. It’s the idea of unearthing the potential of a site, or of a building. That is fundamental to our way of working, almost like archaeology. We are very precise and good observers of what is already there. Sometimes it can even be a certain weakness or awkwardness. We take what is there and turn it into something powerful. 

这种最初的反应有时来自身体的体验,有时来自概念上的观察。例如,对于M+ 这个项目,我们从未见过机场快速列车隧道,我们只是听说过它,并在一个计划中看到了它,我们立即被它吸引住了,并了解到它的巨大潜力。我认为你必须有这种强大的动力来创造一个特定的方向,并努力去实现它。这是发掘一个地点或一座建筑潜力的想法。这是我们工作方式的基础,就像考古学一样。我们是对于现存事物的非常精准和良好的观察者。有时甚至可能是某种弱点或产生尴尬。我们赋予场地上现存的事物更有力的概念。

In this regard the Tate Modern was pivotal. Rather than filling up the large Turbine Hall of the abandoned power station with galleries or supporting spaces - that is what all our competitors did - we were the only ones who said: let’s make this large space even larger by excavating down. Empty it out completely and create an indoor street that can be used by the public and allows for large-scale art installations that are only possible there because you are offering this grand unusual space.

在这方面,泰特现美术馆至关重要。不同于在废弃电站的大型涡旋厅里填满画廊或支撑空间的竞争对手,我们是唯一一个提出:让我们通过向下挖掘使这个大空间变得更大的人。完全清空它,创造一个可供公众使用的室内街道。正是因为设计了这个极其不寻常的空间,我们给大规模的艺术装置提供了唯一可行的空间。

We had this same intuition in the M+ competition when we said we would unearth the airport express train tunnel. We didn’t really know what would happen, is it even technically possible? One of the first models we built was basically the airport express tunnel. The tunnel was an interesting stepped piece that was almost a sculpture itself and of course it creates an unusual, totally new art space. This strategy will create friction, it will be a challenging space for an artist or curator to work with. It’s not a white cube, it’s very unexpected, and that's why it’s so great. It will create unique, specific, and stronger responses than a white cube. And that is what we are looking for in the architecture. Rather than do the expected, we try to find the ultimate and unique potential of a site or building and make this stronger.

在M+竞赛中,当我们说要挖掘机场特快列车隧道时,我们也有同样的直觉。我们并不知道会发生什么,或者甚至不知道这在技术上是否可行。我们建造的第一个模型基本上是机场快速隧道。隧道是一个有趣的非连续碎片,这本身几乎是一个雕塑,它创造了一个不寻常的,全新的艺术空间。这种策略会产生摩擦,对于艺术家或策展人来说,这将是一个具有挑战性的工作空间。很意外,它不是白色的立方体,所以才这么与众不同。它会产生独特的,特定的,比白色立方体更强的反应。这就是我们在建筑中寻找的。我们试图找到一个地点或建筑的独特的潜力,并使其更加强大,而不是做预期的事情。


ChinaGSD:  In a recent interview with Jacques Herzog in Perspective in 2019, he mentioned the M+ as a project only possible having completed the Tate Modern in London. If we take 1995 as a turning point, what design strategies has the practice kept the same, and what has changed since then? Looking back, how would you describe the evolution of the practice’s attitudes regarding public space?

在2019年接受《透视》杂志雅克·赫尔佐格(Jacques Herzog)采访时,他提到M+是伦敦泰特现代美术馆(Tate Modern)唯一可能完工的项目。如果以1995年为契机,有哪些设计策略保持了惯例不变,此后又有哪些变化?回顾过去,您如何描述这种做法对公共空间的态度的演变?

ASCAN: The tools is the only thing that has changed.

The way we approach and think about architecture and projects, and context, whether it’s a building, a masterplan, a territorial thinking, an object or a piece of furniture is always the same. It’s something that Jacques and Pierre were interested in from the very beginning, and they taught all of us the same method of looking, questioning, and developing things. It’s about perception, senses, the human being, and the notion of nature and the public. But at the same time, our process has a certain efficiency and straightforwardness, being open to receive comments from the outside and to react to them.

工具是唯一改变的东西。

我们对待和思考建筑和项目以及环境的方式,无论是建筑、总体规划、地域思维、一个物件还是家具,都是一样的。这是雅克和皮埃尔从一开始就感兴趣的事情,他们教我们所有人相同看待、质疑和发展事物的方法。它是关于观念、感官、人类以及自然和公众的概念。但与此同时,我们接受外界的评论并做出反应,所以我们的过程具有一定的效率和直白性。

But what has changed are the tools. Right now, we have many more opportunities, such as using the computer for parametric models, for scripting, for 3D models, for renderings of all kinds. Of course, the physical model and the sketch are still important in the process of design - we don’t want to be slaves to the digital tools. There might be projects, or phases in a project, where we decide to use them, and others where we don’t. That’s always an important, conscious decision. But ultimately the big difference from 25 years ago is that our toolbox has become so much larger.

但是改变的是工具。现在,我们有更多的机会,例如使用计算机进行参数模型、脚本、3D模型和各种形式的渲染。当然,物理模型和草图在设计过程中仍然很重要——我们不想成为数字工具的奴隶。可能有项目,或者项目中的阶段,我们决定使用它们,而其他的我们不使用。这总是一个重要的、有意识的决定。但与25年前的最根本的不同是,我们的工具箱变得更大了。

ChinaGSD: You talk about being able to receive and react to comments as a core tenet to the practice. Have you received comments from the public and afterwards, felt like you needed to fundamentally change the way you thought about the public spaces you were designing?

您刚才说能够接受和回应评论是实践的核心原则。你有没有收到过公众的评论,然后觉得你需要从根本上改变你对你设计的公共空间的想法? 

ASCAN: I think we have quite a few extreme examples where we were facing a dead end, and yet we are never stubborn and never stopped thinking about the project. Giving up is not an option for us. For instance, with Tai Kwun we started off with this massive bamboo scaffolding tower. At the time, we were very much convinced in this idea of protecting the historic buildings by putting a tall building at the very back of the site and by providing an infrastructure for people to experience the site and Hong Kong. That building received very strong negative reactions in the public consultation process.

我认为我们有相当多如面临死胡同一般极端的例子,然而我们从未固执,从未停止思考这个项目。放弃不是我们的选择。例如,在大馆,我们从这个巨大的竹脚手架塔开始。当时,我们深信保护历史建筑的理念是在遗址的最后面建造一座高楼,并提供基础设施让人们体验遗址和香港。在公众咨询过程中,该建筑受到了强烈的负面反应。



Tai Kwun’s 2007 Scheme
Herzog & de Meuron© Herzog & de Meuron

We felt that Hong Kong was this magical place with all these tall, skinny and dense towers, almost like in a science fiction movie, and somehow, we were inspired by this aspect and we thought that Hong Kongers would relate to this too. The opposite was the case. Hong Kongers actually like the fact that the Central Police Station Compound is a low-rise oasis surrounded by tall buildings. It took us a while to understand this.

我们觉得香港是一个神奇的地方,有着又高又瘦又密的塔楼,就像科幻电影里一样,我们被这一点所启发,我们认为香港人也会和这一点联系在一起。情况正好相反,香港人其实很喜欢中央警署大院是高楼环绕的低层绿洲。我们花了一段时间才明白这一点 。

Afterwards, we came up with the idea of a bridge, the horizontal skyscraper - and even that wasn’t received well. In the end, we inserted these two very precise filler buildings. And now they have a nice relatable scale and they feel comfortable in this context. It was a long journey for us, and there were many moments where we could have said “forget it”. But even when you look at the end result now, it still has the key ingredients of our first scheme: protecting the site, continuing the spatial qualities we found on the existing site, and offering space that allows programmes that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

后来,我们想出了一个桥梁的想法,水平摩天大楼,然而即使这样也没有得到公众很好的接受。最后,我们插入了这两个非常精确的填充建筑。现在他们有了一个很好的相对尺度,在这种情况下他们在场地上感觉很舒服。对我们来说,这是一段漫长的过程,有许多时刻我们可以说“算了吧”。但即使你现在看最终结果,它仍然有我们第一个计划的关键要素: 保护场地,延续我们在现有场地上发现的空间质量,并为原本不可能被实现的空间提供空间。


ChinaGSD: Hong Kong’s urban fabric is an intricate network of bridges, shopping mall connections, underground tunnels and ground level access. When you designed these projects, what were your considerations for the building’s public accessibility and its connection to the surrounding urban context? And what were your considerations for the scale and form of the public spaces?

香港的城市结构是由桥梁、购物中心连接、地下隧道和地面通道组成的复杂网络。当你设计这些项目时,你对建筑的公共可达性及其与周围城市环境的联系有什么考虑?你对公共空间的规模和形式有什么考虑?


Accessibility of Tai Kwun
Herzog & de Meuron© Herzog & de Meuron
大馆中心的可达性

ASCAN: The tricky thing with Tai Kwun was that we wanted to convey that this used to be a prison and a police station. On one hand, you want to open it up; on the other, you don’t want to destroy the history of this significant site. As a result, the few new openings we’ve made onto the site are very precise and almost surgical.

香港大馆中心的棘手之处在于我们想要传达的信息,这里曾经是一座监狱和一个警察局。一方面,你想打开它;另一方面,你不想破坏这个重要场所的历史。因此,我们在这个场地上做的几个新开口非常精确,几乎是外科手术。

On the Arbuthnot Road side, we found Bauhinia house. We used this little guard house to enter the site so it’s almost like an invisible entrance. Whereas on the Old Baileyside, the entrance is basically a version of the famous blue gate, which is where prisoners entered back into freedom once they had completed their sentence. There is also the axis from the mid-level escalator, which is such a beautiful and strong Hong Kong feature. Together with the client, we found a solution to create this bridge directly from the compound to the mid-level escalator. This was very difficult to go through, also from a construction point of view, as the supports for this bridge needed to be minimal because there was literally no space for foundations. At the end of the day, each side has a very specific response in public accessibility.

在亚毕诺道这边,我们找到了紫荆楼。我们从这个小警卫室进入现场,所以它几乎像一个看不见的入口。而在奥卑利街一侧,入口基本上是著名的蓝闸的另一个版本,囚犯们在那里服刑期满后重新获得了自由。还有从中层自动扶梯来的中轴线,这是一个美丽而又强烈的香港特色。与客户一起,我们找到了一个解决方案,直接从大院到中层自动扶梯建造这座桥。从建筑的角度来看,这是很难通过的,这座桥的支撑需要做到最小化,因为几乎没有地基的空间。说到底,每一侧在公众可及性上都有非常具体的回应。


“I think our role is to identify these moments where public life can and should happen and then create an infrastructure for public life to happen.”




ChinaGSD:  While the M+ museum is soon to be completed, Tai Kwun opened to the public in 2018. Are public buildings that you create often used in the way you anticipate? To what extent do you think the architect can influence public life?

M+博物馆即将竣工,大馆中心2018年向公众开放。你创造的公共建筑是否按照你预期的方式使用?你认为建筑师能在多大程度上影响公众生活?

ASCAN: Public life is about the human being. I think it’s very clear that public space is successful if you offer certain things, beginning with scale. It is important that the proportion relates to you as a human being. And you also have to offer possibilities for the people to engage with this space. Sometimes this is just a bench and sometimes it is possibilities to stand and be protected. It can be introducing a notion of nature; a water feature or a tree, or much more. All these things are very important and ultimately make a successful public space. People need to feel comfortable. I think that is key.

公共生活关乎人类。我个人认为公共空间是否是成功的会很清楚显现在你提供某些特质,从规模开始。重要的是,这个比例关系是作为一个人。你还必须为人们提供参与这个空间的可能性。有时这只是一个长凳,有时它是站立和被保护的可能性。它可以引入自然的概念;水景或树,甚至更多。这些东西都很重要,才会最终造就一个成功的公共空间。人们需要感到舒适。我认为这才是关键。

As an architect you can only create an infrastructure, a platform, some basic ingredients that hopefully are then used as they are or developed further by future users. You cannot always anticipate what the people will do in a space. It will probably develop in many ways. Some public spaces are good as they are and won’t change. But public space is not of lesser quality or interest if it evolves through usage and how people use it.

作为一个建筑师,你可以创建一个基础设施,一个平台,一些基本的元素,然后希望这些元素会被使用或者被未来的使用者进一步开发。你不可能总能预测到人们在一个空间里会做什么。很可能会在多方面发展。有些公共空间本来就很好,不会改变。但是,如果公共空间是通过使用和人们如何使用来发展的,它的质量和趣味性并不会降低。


ChinaGSD: With extensive experience in designing for public cultural spaces in mind, when considering that the architect has to navigate and negotiate the complex relationship and demands coming from both the client and the public, what do you believe is the extent of the role of the architect in creating urban and public life, and conversely, where do their limitations lie?

考虑到建筑师在公共文化空间设计方面的丰富经验,当建筑师必须处理和协商来自客户和公众的复杂关系和需求时,你认为建筑师在创造城市和公共生活方面的作用有多大,相反,他们的局限性在哪里?


ASCAN: I think our role is to identify these moments where public life can and should happen and then create an infrastructure for public life to happen. For example: The ground prices in Tokyo are immensely expensive, yet our Prada Aoyama building on Omotesando is not occupying the entire site. The idea that you would build a retail building, but pushing it to one end of the site and open up a little public square in front of it is the projects’ contribution. We were able to convince the client that the expression of ultimate luxury is not only that you have beautiful retail space, but that you also offer a public space to share surrounded with moss walls, and benches in front of the building for people just to sit down and enjoy.

我认为我们的作用是确定公共生活能够并且应该发生的时刻,然后为公共生活的发生创造基础设施。例如:东京的地面价格非常昂贵,但我们位于奥莫泰桑多的普拉达青山建筑并没有占据整个场地。你想建一个零售建筑,但对于项目的贡献是把它推到场地的一端,并在它前面开一个小公共空间。我们能够说服客户,终极奢华的表现不仅是你有美丽的零售空间,而是你还提供了一个公共空间,周围有苔藓墙,楼前有长凳,人们可以坐下来享受。



Public Podium at Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg
Herzog & de Meuron© Herzog & de Meuron
汉堡易北爱乐厅公共指挥台

Another example is the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg: a large mixed-use building with 3 concert halls, hotel, and apartments. This could be a completely enclosed organism. But rather than making it closed, we opened it up. By lifting the new structure above the old and by allowing the public to go up the new escalator punching through the historic structure, we’ve created an elevated public plaza in between. You don’t have to buy a concert ticket or make restaurant reservation. People can just go there and be there, and it is there – literally at the hinge point between harbour and city - where you understand what Hamburg is made of.

另一个例子是位于汉堡的易北爱乐厅: 是一个大型综合建筑,有3个音乐厅、酒店和公寓。这可以是一个完全封闭的有机体。但我们没有关闭它,而是打开了它。通过在旧建筑上打造新建筑,并允许公众乘坐新的自动扶梯穿过历史建筑,我们在两者之间建造了一个高架公共广场。你不必买演唱会门票或预订餐厅。公众可以直接去那里以及停留,它就在那里——是港口和城市之间的枢纽——以及在那里你可以理解到汉堡是什么组成的。

I think we are always looking for these contributions. “How can we enhance the project and offer something to the general public?”. A building or a project is not only specifically made for the user of the building. How can we create something that has a community benefit, a much wider benefit? In German we say “einen Mehrwert generieren” – “to generate additional value”. I think that the fundamental role of the architect is that you think beyond the initial brief and what the user wants to have. To come up with something nobody has thought of before: An add-on, a plus for everybody, for the city, for the people, for the community.

我想我们一直在寻找这些贡献。"我们怎样才能加强这个项目,并向公众提供一些东西?"。一座建筑或一个项目不仅仅是专门为建筑的使用者建造的。我们怎样才能创造出对社会有益的东西,在一个更广泛的益处?在德语中,我们说 “创造附加值” 。我认为建筑师的最基本品质是你超越最初的概要和用户想要的内容进行思考。想出一些以前没人想到的东西: 一个附加产品,对每个人、对城市、对人民、对社区都有好处。




Interview by: 陈勇图 Toby Chan

Graphics: 高盛枫 Lisa Gao,秦瑜 Qin Yu,吴叶 Bella Wu


Editing/Layout: 汪宸宇 Claire Wang,吴叶 Bella Wu,  施云子 Yunzi

Shi


Proofing/Overview: 何牧 Clara He,汪子京 Tommy Wang,曾迪 Di Zeng ,陈勇图 Toby Chan

2020 | ChinaGSD