Neri&Hu have unveiled a new video exploring the Aranya Art Center in Qinhuangdao, China. Designed to evoke notions of space for art versus communal space, the project places a strong emphasis on the spiritual nature of the seaside community. Drawing inspiration from the seasonal ocean waters nearby, the building seeks to encapsulate the natural wonder of water.
The design scheme is as much about the internal courtyard, a communal space for the residents, as it is about the exhibition being displayed in the center. The scheme maximizes its outer footprint but carves out a pure conical geometry at the center with a stepped amphitheater at the base. The central void space can be reconfigured and used in many ways, a water feature when filled with water, but also a functional performance and gathering place when the water is drained. Within the mass of the building volume is a series of interlocking spaces that visitors can meander freely within through a choreographed journey with directed views both inward and outward. Starting at the bottom with the Café, Multi-purpose Gallery, and an Outdoor Amphitheater, a path guides visitors through five distinct galleries, culminating at the rooftop.
Composed primarily of various textured concretes, with and without aggregate, the façade and materiality of the building is like a solid rock sitting firmly in the shifting environment. Smooth surfaces reflect the changing skies, while the molded modular units pick up on the play of shadows throughout the day. Bronze elements act as accents on the heavy façade to catch light and draw attention to the entry of each gallery. Custom lighting and details add a touch of intricacy to the otherwise modest palette. In the evening, open modules allow light to shine through, the building is at the core of the seaside community.
News via Neri&Hu