lacime architects have completed their design for a modular sales office complex located on a flat piece of grassland beside the beijing-hangzhou grand canal in xushuguan district of suzhou, china. the design generates an arrangement of semi-transparent boxes that wrap around a central courtyard with lush greenery. 

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all images by shanjian photography studio



lacime architects have adopted a square grid of 4.2m as the modulus, with each module forming a separate space that can meet the requirements of basic functions, such as office management areas and toilets. in order to ensure the same height of each cross and longitudinal beam, the height of the building is also 4.2m. all modules are disassembled into three categories: structural members (beams and columns), maintenance members (doors, windows, and exterior wall panels), and flooring & roofing.

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the building adopts an L-shaped formation, wrapping around a pre-existing tree, and enclosing a courtyard between two blocks. the structure establishes a subtle relationship between space, light and transparency, allowing people, architecture, activities and environment to jointly form a rich background. both the development and the landscape share a grid system, which blurs the boundary of interior and exterior, and therefore realizes the integration of different areas.

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the building is presented as a horizontal formation of translucent boxes, with large openings combined with thin structural columns. the glass surfaces make the interior appear as if it is overflowing at the boundary of the building. at the same time, the natural surroundings permeate the indoor areas through the transparent walls.

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here, transparency has not only spatial, but also experiential significance. as an exhibition building, the setting of no single moving line allows users to move freely between inside and outside in different positions. people can freely walk in the building, touch it or establish a physical connection to perceive the organization of the structure, thus realizing the transparency in the sense of experience.

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the modular design consists of parts that are able to be assembled and dismantled, thus generating a development with a life of its own. the contrast between the vertical supporting columns and the flowing interior is the best annotation for regeneration. the fluid space can adapt to different sites, and the transparent form can be integrated with a variety of different environments.

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project info:


name: free spring morning
architectural design: lacime architects
general project leader: ren zhiguo
design team: shi dengke, zhang zhuo, luo yaxin, liu ying, du yixin
landscape design: shanghai shuishi landscape environment design co., ltd.
interior design: CLV interior decoration design (tianjin) co., ltd.
project location: xushuguan of huqiu district, suzhou project
floor area: 350m² 



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edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom