Momentary City – CR Land Hefei Dongdajie Sales Pavilion / Vector Architects

Architect: Vector Architects
Location: Hefei,
Client: CR Land
Design-partner-in-charge: Gong Dong
Project Architect: Jiajun Chen, Qun Sun
Structural/Mechanical Engineer: Huanyu Design Institute, Hefei
Project Area: 900 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Shuhe Photo &

Like many other cities in China, Hefei is undergoing a rapid transformation. The original urban fabric was torn apart and discarded, replaced by giant blocks of anonymous structures and forms. The present Hefei is just a fleeting moment on its relentless march toward the future.

So, we call it a “Momentary City”.

floor plan & elevation

The neighborhoods that were demolished and the new sites that are under construction fill this “Momentary City” with scabs. We try to design such a place that creates peace and tranquility for people’s souls. It filters out the noise and dust from the outside world, but retains light and its shadow, water and its ripples, wind and it’s sounds, plants and their aroma, a series of momentary phenomena to create a memory that lasts.

A sequence of courtyards, each hosts one of these phenomena are inserted between the indoor space and outdoor city environment, become a visual connection between the building and the city. The ends of these courtyards are enclosed by industrial fibre glass screens which are hung in two layers. On the courtyards’ side, the colors of the screens change to reflect the various themes of the courtyards. On the city side, the screens remain clear and translucent. This variation in color creates a subtle effect when they are viewed from city side. When they are seen from different points of view and distances, the screens’ appearance are also shifting. At night, when the courtyards and the trees are lit, the screens glow quietly to cast a faint color on the sidewalks.

The layout of the courtyards is the foundation of an internal logic that informs the transition of the spaces. Sunlight reaches the interiors spaces directly or indirectly through the clerestories on the northern wall.  The light made the spaces and time inseparable. With the light changing thorough the day and the seasons, the spaces take on different expressions. Maybe such ever-changing and irreplaceable moments are the precise definition of eternity?

Cite: "Momentary City – CR Land Hefei Dongdajie Sales Pavilion / Vector Architects" 04 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • bill

    Quite beautiful.
    Love how it does to the edge of the street.

  • Dustin

    what kind of cladding is it?

    • arch1980

      corten steel / fibre glass panel

  • 可可怪

    IN CHINA?这个博客非常好~我很喜欢!

  • oscar falcón lara

    It’s quite interesting, conceptually speaking it’s perfect and it’s very well finished from what I can tell from the photos.

  • hyon

    Don’t know whether it was intentional or not, but the snow picture does really give it a temporal quality to the building – as if given enough time the whole place would fade into nothing. Beautiful.

  • Nicholas Patten

    Nicely Designed: Momentary City.

  • Diana2807

    As a Chinese, can’t believe project here can be finished in such quality.

  • Joshua

    material is not confortbal enough.

  • igor

    Generally it is very good architecture. In details, slight chinese connotation is what is missing in that “noodle soup”.

  • xetsn

    Beautiful space. Like the snowing picture.
    Well done!

  • gbc

    Dustin… The cladding is corten steel. If you like it you should see some work from Rick Joy.

    • Dustin

      Thank you, I will do that.

      • TDA

        What you don’t see is the staining that inevitably happens directly below Corten Steel. It’s a beautiful material to use, but some of the areas within the “drip line” on this project have not accounted for it.
        Other than that, i would agree with most of the comments – the level of finishing on this project is exceptional. – China or not.

  • modwest

    Stunningly beautiful… for now. unfortunately it looks like that corten is already leaving streaks on those white panels. I wonder how well it will look in five years or so… There is a lot here to be admired even so.

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  • word

    wow, exceptional project inside and out. very well done

  • chicago_g

    can’t believe this is a developer’s project in china!!! poetic concept with a precise excution.

    • liubin

      There are many better buildings in china.Don’t surprise at it.If you have time and some interest in china,welcome to you at all times.

  • rupert

    totally delicious, lovely lovely lovely glimpses of spaces…

  • RGoldschmidt

    I stayed incredibly pleasantly surprised at what I read here. And I’m the same views on this project. Frankly, I’m not too interested in that territory was. The idea is that a project is very pleasant sight and probably very comfortable. I love picture of snow, but that put too much emphasis on the trees, knowing that China is highly polluted. For my part for Vector Arhitects: In many such projects!

  • xavier_chen

    as a chinese,i got to say so rejoice to see such beautiful and sophisticated work in the archdaily,the layout of the hut impress me alot.
    congratulate to the Vector again.