Urban Condenser

By:  | May - 2 - 2022

Honorable Mention
2022 Skyscraper Competition

Yunheng Fan, Baoying Liu, Rongwei Gao, Junliang Liu

Urbanization is an important symbol of a country’s transition from a backward agricultural society to modernization, and China is undergoing an important transformation of urbanization. Migrant workers, a discriminatory and self-contradictory title, deeply reflect their status of “marginal people,” the main force of urban construction in China. They work in cities but do not have urban hukou, or household registration, and do not enjoy social security. They make great contributions to the city, they yearn for the city, but are not accepted by the city and are free from mainstream society.

The migrant worker community gathers these workers (often called “drifters”) together and the collective living allows them to gradually blend into the society. At the same time, the Urban Condenser serves as a cohesive device for the city, allowing urban residents and migrant workers to intermingle. With community, city, migrant workers, residents, and other dimensions of identity as the object, and with lifestyle, tourism, community mechanism, and other connections within the community as the link, the Urban Condenser builds a “super community” to stimulate social development.

“A huge frame rises in a city of monotony.” People stop and marvel at the huge frame. Construction spreads through a large number of media, making migrant workers a new hot spot for people. Internet celebrities and tourists gradually enter the building, and their curiosity makes two people who originally lived on different tracks meet each other. Tourists travel with their own stereotypes about this group, but their expectations are shattered by the reality in front of them. Migrant workers create their own culture in the societal limbo — new collectivism. In the whole process of metabolism of the architecture, the Urban Condenser utilizes the uniqueness of its architecture to fully display its function as a media. The watched—migrant workers—is not in a passive situation, and the viewer is not always condescending and without being aware of his/her own rights. The community reshaped the perceptions and relationships of both groups, making their interactions more enriching and benign. The Urban Condenser is only the epitome of the urban dream of 300 million migrant workers.

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