Text description provided by the architects. Located in Xishan District, Kunming, this project is in a city park in the Caohai area, adjacent to Dayu Road, near Hangrui Highway, north of Mount Mian, south of Caohai, surrounded by residential areas, which makes it a natural place for people to gather and wander around. Within the site is a one-room attic-style building with multilevel eaves and hipped roofs, which has been verified on site to be the Wen Xing Lou built in the Qing Dynasty, a local cultural preservation building. Although the original building has lost its function and is very shabby in appearance, its proper scale and form make it very harmonious with the surrounding environment, and there are often residents gathering spontaneously for some cultural worship activities.
The owner appointed us to expand the Wen Xing Lou into a park supporting infrastructure and a place for local literati to gather, based on its restored environment and the park site. Wen Xing Lou faces south, and the layout is a long north-south axis parallel to Dayu Road. We followed this spatial pattern and used the restored Wen Xing Lou as the central axis’s end view, and adopted the spatial organization and creation techniques of "compounding" and "overlaying" to divide the site into three courtyards: "Stone Courtyard", "Grass Courtyard" and "Water Courtyard".
"Stone Courtyard" is the front yard facing the entrance, which continues the traditional architectural features and abstractly uses the curves of the eaves of Wen Xing Lou and Yunnan dwellings, and gradually raises the eaves to form the main entrance of the new building. Below the eaves, the steel-wood combination reinterprets the traditional interlocking wooden structure of the Luban lock, which becomes the dome of the gate and also serves as a frame, outlining the contours of the Wen Xing Lou.
When entering through the courtyard, there is a " Grass Courtyard", a lawn surrounded by corridors, with the main functional spaces spread around it, green trees, and eaves at different heights. Keep going deeper, you can see a pond, and the Water Courtyard of three yards sits beside the water. Looking across the water, it is Wan Xing Lou. From the entrance to the atrium and then to the Wen Xing Lou, the three yards show a cascading effect, with a clear ritual sequence, following the traditional architectural style.
The east and south sides of the site are important urban display interfaces. Along the urban road, we retreat a woodland as a buffer from the city and connect with the city through landscaping. A wooden structure made by stacking log cabin construction stands at the corner, above the pond, as the "corner tower" of the building, and also as an artwork and a cultural totem installation in the public space at the corner of the city, echoing the Wen Xing Lou.
Inspired by the local traditional wooden buildings and roof tiles, we use wooden color and dark gray as the primary exterior color of the building complex, and use glass material to blur the limitation of the exterior wall, forming a building façade that allows the public to perceive the internal activities, so that the urban streetscape and the interior space can be "interactive" and "overlapped". The interior space continues the overall texture of the building, with wood color as its main color, embellished with dark gray metal outlines, shaping an elegant cultural atmosphere.
The entire massing of the new building complex is strictly controlled. The eaves are far-reaching, and low but appropriate, and the ridge height of the new building is limited to 7.3 meters below that of Wen Xing Lou, reflecting the respect for Wen Xing Lou through the control of axis, end view, and scale.