LocationCrossing of South Fifth Ring Road and Dexian Road, Jiugong Town, Beijing, China
Design GroupChief Architect Studio
Chief ArchitectWeiZhong Yang
Lead ArchitectChong Xia
Design TeamDaiwen Tang, Chudu Su, Mengchuan Yang, Strahinja Petrovic
Outfit DesignShengqi Lai
Other participantsBIAD, SNP, L&A
Text description provided by the architects. Folding Garden is Located in Jiugong Town, Daxin District, Beijing. We were invited to design this community center for Poly Real Estate Group Co., Ltd which needs to be used as a pre-sales center at the very beginning. Jiugong’s full name is called "Xanadu of the old Yamen", which used to be the Summer Palace for Qing emperor’s hunting hobby, on the other hand, the Nanhaizi was the largest imperial garden and hunting ground in Northern China. We are trying to answer a difficult question through this "Gardening Attempt". The question is how to inherit the Chinese traditional royal building and at the same time make a smart translation from a huge Chinese garden system to a relatively compact space of our site.
Write at one stretch, just use one continuous line – is the most direct response to describe the environment in ancient Chinese painting and gardening. We use a continuous wall across the ground. It is winding and strewn at random, as is folding. The linear wall shapes the garden area and also is the structure to support the space which defines the no column interior; We also install a full north-south corridor space linking up three courtyards which constantly transpose from left to right, therefore, we named the architecture the "Folding Garden". Contrasting the straight axis space with the folded wall movement, we wish to create a space which is full of natural tension by using pure geometric shape.
1. A continuous free Garden-path
Exalting after eliminating, the winding path leads to a secluded quiet place, the garden’s artistic conception begins with the garden path. We learn from the turning fantasy of Liuyuan Garden in Suzhou, it becomes very subtle to design the dynamic path to build the connection between the users and the architecture itself. Although only one hundred meters between the road and the main entrance, the key to draw the free path is to create the mystery of "within sight but not within reach": the dynamic geometric path corresponds to the flowing folding wall; this continuous garden path increases the hanging around distance, also shows the different visual experience while walking in the same garden – just like the saying "there is a landscape in the garden, and there is a garden in the landscape."
2. Three reversed courtyard
We design the garden based on the straight axis, three yards are reversing the internal and external relation along the central axis, it is a metaphor of Chinese traditional philosophy – "one or the other" by using architectural space language. "First Courtyard" is a two-floor high underground yard to the left of the main entrance, the outdoor stairs are surrounded by green space in minus one floor, at the same time, the outdoor stairs correspond to the indoor folding staircase in the same column down;
"Second Courtyard" is the visual extension of the sand table and discussion area to the right of the main axis, it includes both the experiential terraced landscape area and the whole wide green square.
"Third Courtyard" is to the left of the axis again, and it is the private garden for the office area in both floors. We define the green courtyard to be "one", and the interior space to be "the other", then the long axis corridor stays in-between. The green natural yards contrasts and integrates the pure wooden pentroof interior, becoming the poetic frame of the folding garden by embodying the feeling of "one or the other".
3. Fluctuated geometry mountain
The folding garden is covered by fluctuating flowing bricks, resembling a mountain in the forest. Away from the city road, we can barely see the outline of the building through the tree tops, and while we are walking into the garden, the circuitous roof is the eternal invariable visual focus. Write at one stretch, circle but don’t spare our effort, we enjoy the sight of the architecture here and faraway and it becomes a way of understanding this folding garden.
When the sun rises higher than the tree, shines on the flowing wall, there will appear a sequence of the light: gorgeous forest, shining green square, gorgeous straight eave, shining sinking courtyard. With the sun light, we sculptured a beautiful full viewed space scenery into a free geometry mountain.