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The visitor center represents an international collaboration to reintroduce wood construction in China. The showcase structure reinterprets historic precedent using modern materials and innovation to accommodate current Chinese culture. Independent lectures by both the architect and engineer at a respected Chinese University advocating the potential of wood design led to the initial contact for the project. The primary interest in reintroducing timber into Chinese construction typologies was based on wood being a renewable material and sustainable strategy. After visiting the site and noting the precedent of traditional Chinese architecture composed of stone plinths and curved roof forms, a building with a heavy stone base and cloud-like roof was sketched. Three key locations were identified in the building; the entry point, the sales desk, and the tea bar and from each of these positions the undulation of the roof frames the view of the Pearl Hill ridge line. A forest of columns reminds the visitor of the bamboo groves of the entry drive. Native vegetation on the roof further mimics the site in color and texture. View more View full description
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