K11 — Wellton Towers
159 000 m2
In spite of the diversity of and changes in architectural styles and paradigms, the art of architectural design and construction is based on constants: every building has walls, a roof, windows, and doors. It is not easy for architects to be innovators when working with the universals of the architectural language, although rethinking these universals is one of the main tasks of the architect’s craft, as is shown by the design of the facades of Wellton Towers (residential skyscrapers). The concept for these facades re-invents the idea of the faсade. Instead of the faсade as inappropriate decoration and another basic building element which fixes the building’s look once and for all, the new idea proposes a ‘living’ approach which is a natural continuation of the towers’ corporeal logic. As well as being shaped by the geometrically regular modernist grid, the image of the skyscrapers derives from a new material developed in the workshop of Progress. Called ‘stemalite’, this material has an internal side covered in luminescent paint. Surfaces faced in stemalite absorb daylight and emit it at night; after a certain amount of time their luminosity dissolves in uneven chromatic spots, leaving transitions from brighter sections to those whose glow has already faded. Changing in eye-catching ways, the surface responds sensitively to factors in the surroundings, and in particular to the most ephemeral factor – light. The visual play on the façades is taken up by the windows, which gradually slide forwards when opened so that they ‘rupture’, so to speak, the surface of the wall, creating patterns which are every time unique in their rhythms. The creative approach taken to the design of the façades demonstrate clearly that a residential complex may be not just an iteration of a utilitarian commercial programme, but a true work of art.