Archi-Neering-Design/AND Office was co-founded by ZHANG Zhun, GUO Yimin and LIU Yichun in 2016 in Shanghai, China, who joined the juxtaposition of structure and architecture as a structural engineer, an architectural professor, and an architect. Our practice is committed to structural design, research and teaching from the perspective of architecture. We closely integrate with contemporary practices, providing high-quality structural consulting services that’s built upon architectural prospects; we also synchronize with current architecture education, offering everyone structural design knowledge and analysis of the interaction between structure and architecture. In our projects, structural technologies and aesthetics are organically combined, creating a safe, elegant and efficient structural system to inspire and support architectural design.
Responding to the status quo of compartmentalized collaboration between architects and structural engineers in both architectural practice and pedagogy in contemporary China, through the efforts of individuals and groups, Archi-Neering-Design/AND Office hopes to gradually transform the insufficient, inconsistent, and unsatisfactory aspects, aiming for designing and constructing high-quality structures and architecture works within the context of the two.
On the basis of security and economy, we mutually balance cultural, spatial and construction elements as clues of structural design, integrating structures into architecture with layers of considerations rather than pure instrumental reasons in order to achieve better quality of works. The projects we undertake cross architecture, bridges, installation, land-art, etc. Our partners are mainly local pioneering architectural design firms and quality-oriented real estate groups. Beyond here, we gradually develop global connections.
What kind of relationship lies in between architects and and structural engineers? Some say they are comrades, some say they are couples, and some say they are hikers and guides. However, among a large number of current domestic practices, various factors often make the two parties look less harmonious. Except for conflicts caused by external forces, most issues are caused by the mutual misunderstanding between the two and the underestimation of the value of each other's work.
On the other hand, when a building is completed, what is presented to the public is only the "result". Except for few professionals who trace its origin and process of the project, most people miss the opportunity to understand what kind of influence the design and construction process have on the final result. Structural design’s contribution can make subtle yet significant effects during the process.
What kind of relationship lies in between architects and and structural engineers?Some say they are comrades, some say they are couples, and some say they are hikers and guides...
To ask "what is structure", we must first ask "what is architecture", since the structure we talk about is first of all”the structure as architecture”. If architecture is the intersection of arts and techniques, then why is it not structure? Both being the art of forming, what similarities and differences do they have?
Many times people make analogy between structure and “skeleton”, and compare architecture to “body”. In my view, structure is more like the body under the coat called architecture. Substantial structure and graceful composition enable the building to face the external world via different identities with ease. Straightforward explicitness creates dynamism and tension, intangible implicitness implies calmness and every day. Structure has the energy to adjust the expression and experience of architecture.
Structure is no longer piled up by dry mathematical formulas; it is lively, and dearly relates to our happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy. Perhaps such a structure can firmly become the structure of architecture.
To ask "what is structure", we must first ask "what is architecture", since the structure we talk about is first of all”the structure as architecture”...
What does structure mean to architects in China? Perhaps most people's answers are “rational form-finding." Recalling the architectural education we received in the 1980s, the answer seems to be this. We almost only talk about structure when designing large-span or high-rise buildings. Most of the time, structure only is a step after the architect's plan is completed and got handed over to structural engineers.
The architect first draws a figure, and then the structural engineering service follows up. The is one of the outcomes due to the division of labors in society and one of the consequences of the continuing expanding scale of architecture projects. If the foundational training of a practicing architect is the kind of space+structure+construction, such problems are less likely to occur. Unfortunately, today’s domestic architecture education has only improved its vision and status in global academic exchange, yet not so much upon its critical core contents. In particular, our understanding of the relation between structure and architecture is still insufficient, and there is no effective corresponding pedagogical paradigm for it yet.
Under the compartmentalization of disciplines in our contemporary society, especially today where urbanization and sociology have profound impacts on architecture, architects and structural engineers should keep in-depth and comprehensive thinking on the meaning of structure during collaborations. We still believe the rhetoric of structure is the essential part that communicates the interior and exterior of architecture, and eventually documented as the culture of architecture.
We still believe the rhetoric of structure is the essential part that communicates the interior and exterior of architecture, and eventually documented as the culture of architecture.