Vector Architects was founded in 2008. During Vector Architects’ twelve years of practice, among the miscellaneous clues in architecture, we focus intensely on the issues of Site, Light, and Making.
Architecture takes root in a site, and the site makes architecture real. We believe every site, whether it sits in a natural landscape or an urban context, must possess certain energies with its own existence. These energies could be uncovered from its landscape, or from its inhabitants and their behaviors. The architecture’s mission is to orchestrate such energies through precise spatial tactics so that unique perceptions and ways of life can be shaped. It is like dropping a piece of rock in the water, generating undulating ripples, hence we feel the water flows. In this respect, a piece of architecture is no longer an independent object, but a medium to connect with things and to reveal.
Natural light, while illuminating the fixed, tangible materials and boundaries of space, simultaneously dissolves their physical limitations. Light imparts suffused and indescribable emotions and lends ambience to space. As the sun moves along its trajectory throughout the day within the shifting conditions of weather and seasons, the evoked intangible quality also changes, implying the sentiment of space and the rhythm of life. In architecture, light is a phenomenon for our eyes to observe, and an aura in which to immerse our body and soul.
Making is the fundamental of architecture, and the process of making is a series of operations and manipulations of “materials.” This is manifested in the intricacies of the design as well as the skills and labor with hands and body during the construction, which all leaves traces on the architecture. In the Chinese construction industry, issues such as delays, chaos, and defects are precisely the potentials to be turned to architects’ advantages. We adhere to our strategy of working together with builders. For every project, we send a site architect to participate in the entire process of construction – from the research, experiment, and manufacture of building materials, to the prototyping and calibration of joints and details, and to the full extent of on-site supervision and coordination, in order to ensure the full implementation of initial design intentions. This long adaptive and collaborative process has given us more hands-on opportunities to learn from local builders, allowing us to review upon the limitations of the design and documentation process so to avoid inconsistency between drawings and construction.