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First Place – Commercial

WuliEpoch Culture Center

Architect: Jiyuan Zhang

Design Team: MEP: Gong Cheng, Zhenwei Li

Surrounded by significant historic sites of Badachu Monastery, Fragrance Hill Mountain, and the Western Hills maintain chain, WuliEpoch Culture Center attempts to create a triptych of architecture, landscape, and interior design. The architecture and interior put up an immersive show within a near and far landscape.
The hearth was the locus in a primitive hut, and the rites of life moved around the hearth. The circumferential path is followed in ritual and religious practices. As a community center for a residential compound, the project tries to define the spiritual quest in daily life.
The project site is a triangulated, irregular lot embraced by the Western Hill mountain chain. We introduce the circumferential path to create a spatial dialogue with the encompassing landscape, which is the hearth as we define it in modern life. A continuing path moves gradually from exterior to interior in a circumferential way. It hovers up from the ground to the second floor, then turns to the third-floor banquet hall, before exiting to the exterior roofscape. It continues folding up and down on the roof and then moves gradually along another path down to the ground of the forecourt, where the path begins. The circulation logic aligns with the philosophy of the space, representing and embodying an endless quest from the inner self to the outer landscape in an evolving incarnation that defines the truth of life.
We have constructed a new typology for the courtyard with the curve wall we created. Instead of enclosing space rectangularly, we have walls crisscross one another in multiple levels, creating a rich syntax of irregular courtyards that varied in size, scale, and sectional relations.
The project interprets nature in three ways: first, the interior space depicts nature digitally. The signature image of “autumn foliage in Western Hills” is depicted the field of glittering wooden laminated aluminum panels; second, first nature, and second nature join seamlessly. Recycle concrete blocks are cut into thin pieces and put together to mimic hills and waterfalls, capturing the solidification and abstraction of nature; third, near and far landscapes work together to create a living space.

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