LYCS Manifesto

Architecture should have the freedom to make people happy!

As the great creation after the large-scale transformation of nature by human beings, the city is the symbol of the maturity of civilization. Just in a few decades, China has shockingly gone through the process of urbanization which took the West more than 100 years. 

In 2021, China’s urbanization rate has just passed over 60%. With the continuous intensification of urbanization, we are experiencing the pains of growth: numerous tall buildings and residential buildings stand with the same style, and interesting places are significantly difficulty to find. It’s remarkably urgent for designers to solve these related problems, which are accumulating and still constantly generated in the process of urbanization.

The craze for the high-density cities has always been engraved inside the DNA of LYCS Architecture. We hope that every design solution to urban problems we have contributed to can be generally used for reference, applied and iteratively updated by the public.

“School with a Running Track on the Roof” (No. 2 Primary School, Chicheng Street, Tiantai County): due to the high density of surrounding urban areas and the narrow school land, it is impossible to build an affiliated playground according to the conventional thinking. Therefore, we have designed a circular building, and transformed the roof into a playground, so that children can run and play joyfully there. “Many Stories in a Small Town” (Hangzhou Haishu School of Future Sci-Tech City): given that it is surrounded by a sprawling car-sized matrix of residential areas, we have chosen to design an intimate, dreamy and colorful “fairy tale town”, in order to light up the whole dull block. “Hangzhou Horn” (headquarters building of Zhejiang Publishing United Group): given that its huge construction volume and location in the traditional city center, we are confronted with the dilemma of choosing between the old factory buildings and the old residential ones. Therefore, by virtue of a city-scale morphology control strategy, we have erected a symbolic urban gateway that respects the old city between the famous West Lake and the entrance of new Hangzhou.

From this perspective, architecture, instead of confining itself away from the city, should heal the city.

The focus on the city is essentially that on people. As the Russian writer Dostoyevsky has said, “(we should) love concrete people, not abstract people.” The real solution is to dig into the real needs of different living individuals by replacing self-centered imagination with careful observation. In order to get closer to the real life, LYCS Architecture has chosen as the main business segments four core categories of civil architecture that promote the urban development of productivity, that is, office, education, consumption and residence.

Children from “The Wizard of Oz” (KINCANG Xinmeng International Kindergarten) have acted as the public judges and voted on the future of their school. Given that the traditional ground sockets have usually hindered the flexible arrangement of office layout in Internet companies, we have developed a new set of ceiling socket and pipeline system, allowing the real freedom of plane layout. The founder of Merit Interactive (Ge Tui) has even participated in the curtain wall design of their headquarters building, and become the co-inventor of the curtain wall design patent.

Therefore, architecture should devote itself to solving the practical problems of users rather than descend into the fetishism of style design.

During the modernist movement in 20th century, notable Le Corbusier said that architecture was a machine for living, which has freed architecture from the old pattern of seeking the memorial for hundreds of years. However, architecture has quickly shifted to the other extreme, and become indifferent, dull, uniform, and homogeneous without any difference and liveliness. Architecture should always be dynamic, enjoyable, experiential, and constantly updated. Every individual in the city has a unique personality, and so does architecture.

Therefore, instead of remaining coldly and dully gray, architecture should let people meet happiness and surprise around the corner!

This is what LYCS Architecture determines to accomplish.

Written on the 10th anniversary of LYCS Architecture.