Yuhang is an important district in the Zhejiang province. It is important as being the place of the dawn of chinese civilization. It is often refered to as the “hometown of fish and rice, house of silk, garden of flowers and fruits and land of multiple cultures”.
The brief for the project was to create a landmark for the Linping new town , one that will be an influential public space for Hangzhou, an artistic cultural centre that will integrate architecture, water, plaza, green space and advanced experience. It also stipulated that the centre has to be constituted of three sections
The performance architecture which includes all the public spaces for performance like the theatres and cultural and art plaza.
The culture and art centre which includes the art gallery,culture centre and library and finally the eastern-lake landscape that includes the lake and its surrounding.
The architects in collaboration with Arup architects proposed a concept that uses the idea of dynamic forms interacting with their environment reacting to natural and artificial lights and generating surprises. The inspiration according to the architects came from the history of the localpopulation. The tribal ornament of the Liangzhou culture makes strong use of insignia. They thus used the cong(cylinders) that feature prominently in the ritual jade culture.
In terms of the interaction between the forms and spaces the metaphor used was from general chinese culture of the ribbon dance that uses whirling strips of silk. The structure of the building was inspired by these strips.
On the landscape front, water plays an important role in the design proposal. The architects propose the art centre as a podium that emerges from the water like a turtle, a symbol of longevity and wisdom.
For the centre, it comprises of four volumes that are eventually connected at ground level. The design seeks to attain the highest standards in sustainability by making use of eco-sustainable principles and low energy consumption.
The centre will surely be a cultural icon of the province.
By Hassan Mohammed Yakubu