Shed at Tangshan Interchange Toll Station / AESEU Architectural Technology and Art Studio
Text description of the architects. In 2019, the ATA design team was commissioned to design a toll station for the Tangshan Interchange of Shanghai-Chengdu Expressway. As the main traffic junction in east Nanjing, the owner hopes to show Tangshan’s image as the “East Gateway of Nanjing” through the shed on Tangshan Interchange, and it is also an important junction for the peripheral traffic organization of the 2021 Jiangsu Garden Expo Park.
Target group, value and perspective. In terms of safety, economy and functionality, transportation facilities such as toll sheds typically use standardized designs and sheds typically use large span steel structures to meet the traffic requirements of lanes. Pillars are used as supporting structures on toll islands or at both ends of train stations, and the roofing materials are mostly metal profile plates or membrane materials. Each toll station is identified with a different station name to indicate the difference. Standardized structural components can effectively reduce construction costs and ensure the reliability of the structure. In recent years, motorways have improved the comfort and experience of drivers and passengers through the construction of special rest stops, and municipalities also see motorway exits as a representation of the local image, so they place higher demands on the shape of toll booths.
In general, the way to improve the image of the toll shed is to model the facade of the toll shed two-dimensionally to match the perspective of normal pedestrians. But does it apply to drivers and passengers on highways? These are the three points that need to be made clear in the design process, namely target audience, value, and perspective. When driving, drivers must first pay attention to station signs, lane signs, toll deduction signs and barriers. The modeling of the station shed and the space under the shed is more oriented towards the overall perception of the space than the detailed modeling. The passengers in the back row look out through the side windows. Therefore, the likelihood of observing the space under the shed is higher than that of the shed facade. Since the manual toll collection canal is laid from the outer road, drivers and passengers have more opportunities to observe the shed from the lower side while they are in the queue. According to these line of sight analyzes, large-scale physical features and a regular spatial language impress people more than complexly transformed concrete images. Therefore, the design of the space under the shed and the expansion of people’s experience from two-dimensional facades to three-dimensional spaces offers a new thought for design.
Standardization and locality. From an economic and safety point of view, the use of standardized steel girders for the construction of large-span structures corresponds to the distinguishing features of toll halls as transport facilities. Therefore, the lattice structure and truss structure are the main direction of the structural shapes, and columns are often supported at the four corners and in the center according to different spans. However, standardized industrial components easily appear monotonous due to their lack of modification, and it is difficult to represent their properties, especially the representation of the local properties of buildings, which is a difficult problem for architects.
The locality of architecture is not a static concept, but coexists with the contemporary architecture. The humanities, the history and the topography around the site are of course the local features of the building, but also the current state of construction technology, the difficult procurement of materials and the cost restrictions of the expressway system are the local elements of the building in the contemporary context.
In this project, the planning team tries to strike a balance between standardization and richness of the structure, using the expressiveness of the structure itself to represent the localization features of the building. The design team adopted the structure of the forked column and folded panel roof. The fork-shaped support column consists of standard steel rods that are carried vertically and diagonally in the plane. The roof is a folding sheet metal construction made of cross members. The connection dimensions of the inclined steel girders are divided into three categories, which get smaller and smaller depending on the load behavior and are finally connected to the roof girders.
With regard to the unobstructed view and the safety of vehicle traffic, the fork-shaped support column is arranged in the upper area of ââthe toll island, but does not penetrate into the upper area of ââthe driveway. The standard steel strut forms different cross-pillar shapes through various combinations, and the cross-pillar is located in different positions on different toll station islands. In this way, the space under the shed is rich in structural and physical changes, and these changes are more attractive to watch at slower speeds. Through the skylight on the roof, natural light enters the shadow area under the shed, making the room bright and layered, which takes up the impression of the hall space, where guests are received in traditional buildings. Its purpose is to make tourists feel like they are walking through the hall to the inner chamber as they walk through the tool shed, and the opposite view of the shed is Tangshan’s main mountain range, hence also called “The Shed With a Mountain View”. .
At night, the light-receiving surface and the light-receiving surface are reversed, the folded roof is illuminated from below, the grid of the repeated arrangement reinforces the twists and turns of the roof and the fork-shaped support columns in the light are optically staggered and overlapped, so that the shed is as impressive as a temple in the forest.
Detail node. When using structure as an element of spatial expression, an important principle is that each component truly reflects its loading characteristics and that each structure plays its role. For example, the change in size of the profile steel of the cross column from bottom to top corresponds to the change in bending moment, the tension rod can be seen at a glance, the web areas of the cross supports and girders are closed by aluminum plates, which is used as a bridge box for cables. The exposure of the structure at the intersection node serves on the one hand to facilitate the daily maintenance of the bolts and on the other hand to implement the cable crossing here.
If we chase the ambitious curve modeling created by computer algorithms, the method of analyzing the basic problems of architecture using the basic design tools is still applicable in traditional architecture. It can also create a build space with controllable costs, practical function and profound influence with the publicly available materials and a simple and reliable construction.