the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Worship
  4. China
  5. West-Line Studio
  6. 2017
  7. Shui Cultural Center / West-Line Studio

Shui Cultural Center / West-Line Studio

  • 02:00 - 7 December, 2017
Shui Cultural Center / West-Line Studio
Shui Cultural Center / West-Line Studio, Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Courtesy of West-Line Studio

Courtesy of West-Line Studio Courtesy of West-Line Studio Courtesy of West-Line Studio Courtesy of West-Line Studio + 29

  • Site Construction Control

    Haobo Wei, Hanmin Dan, Minghua Ou
  • Structure

    Yuanping Li, Xiaoqiang Yang
  • Equipment

    Hongbo Shi
  • Research

    Yulan Xu, Danjing Zhong, Zhili Yin, Jing Shi, Yulan Xu, Hong Yang
  • Graphics

    Martina Muratori, Jinda Zheng
  • More Specs Less Specs
Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Courtesy of West-Line Studio

Text description provided by the architects. Located in the Southeastern part of Guizhou Province, the Shui Cultural Center is a gateway to Sandu County, the land of the Shui. The Shui are one of the ethnic minority groups in China, most of whom live in Guizhou - where West-Line Studio works exclusively - which is why the office pays special attention to researching minority cultures and traditions in order to bring some of their particular elements into the design.

Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Elevation + Section
Elevation + Section
Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Courtesy of West-Line Studio

Despite being few in number, the Shui people have still retained their own language, together with their unique system of pictographs. They have around 400 characters used mostly during ceremonies and sacrifices. The iconic shape of the cultural center pays homage to the Shui language, following the shape of the character for ’mountain’. The facade pattern is also inspired by Shui’s traditional characters, starting again from the basic triangular shape of the mountain, which is repeated to evoke the character for ’rain’.

Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Floor Plans
Floor Plans
Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Courtesy of West-Line Studio

The site, which covers an area of 13,800 square meters, was created by a bend in the river, so it is surrounded by water on three sides. On the other, the West side, a water square welcomes the visitors guiding them to the entrance. Shui means water, which is why this element is so relevant for both the site and project. North of the water landscape is the Yulong tower, with a bronze drum on the top. The drum, cast in bronze, is a typical ritualistic element in Shui culture. Bronze can also be found in their altars, which inspired the architects to use perforated bronze steel plates to cover the building. The pattern makes the plates lighter - a thin skin which creates a contrast with the heavy concrete structure - breaking the sunlight to create a dramatic effect once inside.

Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Courtesy of West-Line Studio

The concrete is marked strongly by a wooden pattern, given by the pine quarterdecks. Pine wood is one of the most common materials in the Sandu area and the contemporary concrete structure echoes the local traditional wooden architecture.

Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Courtesy of West-Line Studio

The building itself consist of three main stripes, which combine all the functions of the tourist-cultural center. The first is the ritual hall, which with its sharp edges, strong colors and narrow space aims to create a strong first impression on visitors, who are clearly stepping into a different dimension. The second stripe still keeps the sharp roof but welcomes visitors with less dramatic tones and serves as reception hall. In the third stripe, which has two floors, at the ground level we lose the pitch roof to find a more conventional space that includes all the main functions: visitor and service center, cafeteria, toilets, business center and an upstairs office area.

Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Courtesy of West-Line Studio

With its iconic and distinct shape, the Shui Cultural Center stands as a new contemporary landmark which pays homage to the local culture and traditional architecture. The Shui culture is evoked using particular materials and shapes but also in recreating a holy space, able to submerge the visitor who is guided into a magic journey through the Shui’s ancestral world.

Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Courtesy of West-Line Studio
Cite: "Shui Cultural Center / West-Line Studio" 07 Dec 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/884852/shui-cultural-center-west-line-studio/> ISSN 0719-8884
Courtesy of West-Line Studio

龙门文化中心 / 西线工作室