‘Culture’, as common as that word might be, assimilates all of which we are. It is what we inherit and what we preach. Cultures around the world are revealed in the notions, beliefs, customs and traditions -in short, the way of life of a particular place. It is what we have accumulated over the ages and it is where all changes in our society reflect with time.
Jianzi , the ancient sport of China, going back all the way to the Han Dynasty, forms a significant part of their rich cultural heritage. The popular game which involves balancing a weighted feather-ball, or, a shuttle-cock without using hands, forms one of the principal attractions of this year’s Beijing Design Week.
Jianzi is part of the rich and diverse public life of Beijing. Its dynamic nature and history inspired SPARK Architects, who wanted to present these very qualities. They created a Jianzi Box Pavilion with a façade of 15000 feather-balls fixed on a steel frame.
The delightful experience does not end here, visitors get to sit on swings placed inside the pavilion hung from the ceiling in series while enjoying a movie screening, performance or perhaps attending a lecture. There is also space for yoga classes and the like.
All the game units are supposed to be presented to the public upon completion. The public can then place the units in different parts of the city, or keep them together, as they are being built now.
More than just a design, it brings together people for a cultural experience, in an intimate setting. An architectural expression in its own right, it allows for an emotional bonding with the city.
Located in the Baitasi District, the whole place is becoming to Beijing. To the tourists, it is a reflection of the China culture and to the natives, it is perhaps a reminder of their own vibrant history and ways.
By: Antara Jha