The National Fitness Center of Zhoushan in Zhejiang, China (2016) has now become a landmark of both contemporary architecture and sustainability. Of large scale, the center encompasses generous and versatile spaces dedicated to fitness, sports events, exhibitions, shopping and many more.
In full compliance with the national philosophy focused on fitness and healthy lifestyles, the National Fitness Center of Zhoushan also concentrates the national values regarding low-carbon emissions, energy conservation and environmental protection – following the urban strategies of sustainability found in other parts of the world as well. The project’s sustainability was achieved by using terracotta products (rainscreens and baguettes) applied to the exterior of the imposing center.
They have been used on all sides in a combination of gray hues, accented with red ones, giving the whole building a sense of vitality. The flexibility of the terracotta rainscreen is clearly enhanced by the various sizes and textures of the LOPO terracotta products, a superb blend of horizontal and vertical installations. In order to avoid monotony, the architecture presents natural flat panels and grooved panels on the side walls. The use of the red panel adds value to the entire construction by creating a focal point and breaking the uniformity of the gray nuances.
By offering contrast, texture and depth, the small red terracotta area consists of natural flat and linear panels, mixing light red panels intertwined with dark red panels for a stereoscopic, linear look that is modern in conception and pleasing to the eye. As the terracotta baguettes go, the panels make a perfect match with the square baguettes and the louver, the external walls exhibiting the effects of sunshading and ventilation. The sustainability and the energy efficiency of this project reside in the use of the LOPO terracotta rainscreen and baguettes.
Terracotta rainscreens allow air to circulate behind the panels, thus avoiding pressure equalization, preventing water to be drawn inside the building. By creating an air/vapor barrier on the outside and perfectly insulating the building, the terracotta products can offer an average of 50% higher insulation than traditional materials. This translates into reduced energy costs and a significant improvement of comfort for the building’s occupants. Terracotta products are also non-flammable and resilient to the worst weather conditions.
Providing the building with sound insulation besides the thermal insulation, terracotta rainscreens and baguettes are not only environmentally-friendly, but also highly sustainable. Since they don’t need grout or sealants, the terracotta products also are very low maintenance as well. The wide palette of colors and textures offered by terracotta products, their durability and stability makes them some of the most desirable building materials. The National Fitness Center of Zhoushan is therefore an example of good practices when it comes to smart and environmentally friendly architecture. Source and Images courtesy of Lopo China https://www.lopochina.com
Article by Marco Rinaldi