penda china's three sculptural tunnel portals add 'tinge of surrealism' to haikou

penda china's three sculptural tunnel portals add 'tinge of surrealism' to haikou

penda china has completed three sculptural portals that provide access and egress to and from the wenming east tunnel in china’s hainan province. the tunnel, which is the first to be constructed beneath the nandu river, measures a total length of 4,380 meters (14,370 feet) with the underground six-lane dual carriageway spanning 2,720 meters (8,924 feet). the project forms part of a masterplan initiated by the chinese government that seeks to boost the development of the jiangdong new district in haikou city — the capital and most populous city in hainan.

penda china sculptural tunnel portals
all images by xia zhi

 

 

penda china, led by sun dayong and wan shuyan, was commissioned to design three access points to the new tunnel. one of which is much larger in scale and located on the east side by the shoreline, while the other two are on the west side and much smaller. ‘generally, vehicular tunnel entrances must provide a transition zone in order to allow the human eye time to acclimate to the considerable change in brightness when going into the tunnel,’ explain the architects. to protect drivers, the design does away with LED light grilles and instead incorporates a curved madeleine-shaped canopy. this open clam shell ushers in natural light, while maintaining a uniformity of luminance at the entrance.

penda china sculptural tunnel portals

 

 

the sculptural portals are inspired by elements of marine life, with the white shells referencing the seaside location. the canopies have been clad with glazed aluminum panels. meanwhile, black lines delineate the outer surfaces, contrasting the curving white panels. the underside of each canopy also incorporates the undulating texture, with the white material continued down the side walls to ensure a uniformity of luminance. here, the appearance of a fish gills has been taken as a motif — serving as a continuation of the aquatic theme.

penda china sculptural tunnel portals

 

 

penda china also drew creative inspiration from marine bioluminescence, with a multitude of small lights embedded in the lines between cladding panels. this allows the outer shell to emit a glow at night. although the three portals vary in terms of their size, shape, and location, they are united by the same set of design principles, ensuring a harmony between them and their particular sites. ‘from a bird’s eye point of view, these futuristic landmark entrances stand out from the existing city fabric and provide a tinge of surrealism to haikou,’ says penda china.

penda china sculptural tunnel portals

penda china sculptural tunnel portals

penda china sculptural tunnel portals

penda-china-haikou-wenming-east-road-tunnel-hainan-designboom-1800b

penda china's three sculptural tunnel portals add 'tinge of surrealism' to haikou

penda china's three sculptural tunnel portals add 'tinge of surrealism' to haikou

penda china's three sculptural tunnel portals add 'tinge of surrealism' to haikou

penda china's three sculptural tunnel portals add 'tinge of surrealism' to haikou

penda china's three sculptural tunnel portals add 'tinge of surrealism' to haikou

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: wenming east tunnel entrances
location: jiangdong new district, haikou, hainan province, china
year: 2020
principal designers: sun dayong & wan shuyan
design team: penda china
LDI: shanghai tunnel engineering railway traffic design & research institute
photographer: xia zhi

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