Design Assistant: Sangshuang Liu, Yanfeng Chen
People love porcelain, but pay little attention to the brick kiln that fires it. What if a kiln fires itself? Celeste, this contemporary rest pavilion, freezes a moment of flambé glaze on site that reminds the locals of their long history of firing Celedon pottery, at a corner of a busy intersection of downtown Lishui.
A symbolic kiln shape is simplified as if by rolling a piece of paper into a cone with the upper corners overlapping and the lower forming an entry. This brick structure utilizes a traditional technique of corbel dome, which was often used in building pagodas in ancient times. Full scale mock-up was experimented to test the structural strength.
Two corners of each brick at the upper layers were cut off to be reshaped into trapezoid in order to increase the contract surface between bricks so as to guarantee the mechanical property of the corbel dome. Special sintered bricks were chosen to be glazed with unique glazing skills, and re-fired to finally produce 2,500 bricks, each with different glaze color. Glazed bricks were gradually added to this structure till full cover, forming a special transmutation of glaze effect of Celeste.
At night, young couple light candles inside, and the light passes through the brick seams, as if thousand-year kiln fire had added a layer of shiny gloss to the outside enamel. This small project is commissioned as part of streetscape revitalization project by Lishui Urban Renewal Co. Ltd, and is completed on January 2020.