YEAR: 2016

LOCATION: Shanghai, China

TYPE: Design Competition

PROJECT TEAM: Daisy Ames, Wanli Mo



TetraRibbon combines two different systems at work in our proposal for the light towers along the Huangpu River: a tetracube and a ribbon.  A tetracube is a type of geometry that implies relationships with other geometries along its face. Due to Site 16's close proximity to the waterfront, we see this as an opportunity to create a floating tower so that relationships between other light tower faces can be made. Thus, our light towers are tetracubes in that the other fixed tetracubes are in dialogue with the floating tetracube during its route along the riverfront. The ribbon is the catalyst for this engagement as a continuous boardwalk along the river which also folds into the 23 fixed light towers, mediating such relationships as solid and void, seeing and being seen, motion and static, presence and absence, and ultimately, the city's past and present, center and periphery.  

Each of the fixed tetracubes consume the 6m by 6m allowable footprint, yet vary in height in relation to its context and calculated optimum views. The possibility of experiencing the floating tetracube positions our project not only as an architectural element satisfying the programmatic needs of the riverfront and desires to increase connectivity, but as a vehicle to show the richness and diversity of the Shanghai waterfront.

From industrial heritage sites to contemporary urban life scenes, from the hustle of financial CBD to the scarce landscape of the suburban, the 24 sites along the East Bund Huangpu River narrates a story of the city both from a temporal and a spatial perspective.

The floating tetracube can be understood as a technologically advanced moving subject that rotates with the water’s current and emits light from the interior surfaces which were created through a series rotating cubes aligning with moments within the fixed tetracubes. The light technology uses OLED’s, or Organic Light-Emitting Diode, to illuminate its surrounding as well as the fixed tetracube themselves as it comes into contact with them. By its nature, OLED’s transmit light along a surface that can be curved and formed according to the forms we have outlined in our project while still maintaining durability, efficiency, and remain waterproof and cool to the touch. The nanotechnology is currently be considered for the future of smartphones and is revolutionizing the way that we are experiencing light in our natural and artificial environment.