Text description provided by the architects. This is yet another one of our continuous efforts to understand and innovate using the “wall” construction element. For the Central Park Cultural and Arts Center, we have designed walls with “significance” to infuse the people’s daily lives. This time, we use the walls as a medium to showcase the relationship between the site and its functions.
Lianhuashan Park covers an area of 194 hectares. It is a huge mountain park at the center of the city. Citizens can hike from one of its multiple trails to the viewing platform at the peak that overlooks the central axis of Shenzhen City. The project is a park auxiliary facility located near the top of the mountain designed to organize park-related livelihood and cultural theme exhibitions as well as cultural exchange events on a periodic basis. The building is located within the mountain forest to embellish the natural landscape. The building is located at the northern side of the central mountain axis and the statue of Deng Xiaoping is at the other side. This spatial axis extends southward to become the entire central Futian District and into the north-south central axis of Shenzhen.
1. Facility Formation
Standing on the lawn at the north side is the banyan tree that was hand planted by Xi Jinping. On the side of Jingui Road stands a group of Moringa Trees and Powder-puff Trees. The hillside is to the east. Adjacent to the square is a large camphor tree grafted with paper flowers. On the one hand, we want the building wall to retreat behind some big trees to blend with the background scenery. On the other hand, the east and south sides are both hillsides lacking spatial definition. So we designed two vertical and horizontal walls as well as a floating roof to enclose the hand planted garden. The goal is to shape the space between the building and the environment into a quiet memorial garden for the visitors.
2. Organized Functions
The walls here serve as a medium for exhibits and manifest a symmetry projection of the relationship between the trees and the walls at the functional level. Therefore, we decorate the exhibition walls based on the exhibition circulation to separate the physical wall transitions. The goal is to highlight the significance of “object” in the design and weaken the walls’ role as an enclosure system to provide a “room” effect. The cavities for parts of the walls also hold the electromechanical and drainage pipelines.
The walls are primarily fossil wood with a matt surface. The horizontal stripe texture resembles layers of soil. The cross-cutting tree trunks are positioned at the site to simulate nature. Grooved granite is used for parts of the wall to form changes using the geometrical method. The goal is to extract the mottled impression of a dense forest and blend it into the environment.
The exhibition hall floats on the wall to form a cantilever for the entrance. The thin eaves form a contrast against the thick walls. The top of the roof is trapezoidal. When viewed from east of Jingui Road, the sides of the walls provide a perspective correction visual effect. From the entrance position, the trees form a visual guide to offer a sense of ceremony in a non-axisymmetric manner.
Surrounded by large trees, we want the memorial garden building facing southeast to have an effect of dwelling in the middle of the forest. Therefore, we tried to control the roof height as much as possible during the design process and was able to optimize the equipment pipelines and reduce the roof thickness while satisfying the functional applications. The Cultural Exchange Hall is a large-span space. We adopt small beams and dense columns and the equipment pipelines are laid within the beams and underground to make the space within the limited floor height more comfortable.
The level development of the walls and eaves intensifies the low and long visual perception of the building. The roof adopts anodized aluminum outdoor suspended ceiling and its subtle metal reflection effect forms a smooth and dull contrast with the wall surface, which represents the architecture's intervention with the natural environment. A shallow pool is placed under the eaves to enhance the physical dimension perception. A harmonious water and wood atmosphere is formed under the effect of wind and light.
Located amid the forest, we did not turn the exhibition hall into a black box. The separation of the walls gives visitors the opportunity to appreciate nature from within. The scenery fragments and display contents form an interweaving and flowing impression. The goal is to showcase features different from urban architecture, highlight the dominant natural landscape and thereby strengthen the sense of disappearance for architectural space. The pleasant and long-lasting sunlight shines through leaves.