XINXIANG CULTURAL BUILDING
The proposal attempts to mediate between the diverse influences of ancient Henan methods of building in the landscape, wider Chinese historical influences and modernity of Chinese urbanisation.
The project has been conceived as a monumental structure befitting of a confident city looking to the future.
The important location of the site next to the river sets a scene for a beautiful composition of the natural landscape and the heroic man-made structure representing water, sky & earth.
The different functions are brought together in a democratic and balanced arrangement around 2 special courtyards giving the building a unified appearance emphasising the importance such a cultural facility has within the city.
Spacious covered areas around the courtyards, linked to the foyers of the individual facilities shade visitors in summer and protect them when visiting in winter. The raised courtyards open to the East, North and South as well as opening Westward with delightful elevated views across a new lake towards the river.
The roof becomes a garden helping slow water run-off and heat loss. Small rooflights give a consistent lighting to all the large spaces beneath when required.
The carved nature of the courtyards are symbolic of ancient Henan rock-carved dwellings & temples.
The simple overall geometry has been influenced by the beautifully sculpted jade ink stones of ancient China. A pure circle is placed in a larger rectangular body of solid stone and represents the heart of this cultural destination. The symbol of the ink stone is also important as the cultural material held and communicated in these new spaces would not be possible without the art of calligraphy and drawing.