shou county culture and art center by studio zhu-pei - Architecture Blogs

shou county culture and art center by studio zhu-pei

studio zhu-pei has completed an introverted, yet inviting museum and cultural complex in the north-central part of china?s anhui province. although it did not insist on specific design requirements, the brief for the ?shou county culture and art center? called for a building that could be completed within a very short time frame. the project also needed to include an art gallery, a cultural center, a library, and an archive.

all images by su shengliang

zhu pei, founder of studio zhu-pei, began the project by investigating the cultural roots of shou county, observing its old dwellings and ruins, and identifying how its ancestors looked for balance between the primal forces of nature and active construction without modern technologies. the architect was particularly intrigued by the inward-oriented living patterns of the region?s vertical courtyard houses, and how a network of narrow lanes is used to connect the homes to one another.

built on a previously empty plot two kilometers southeast of the old town, the ?shou county culture and art center? comprises multiple courtyards of different sizes placed in a relatively enclosed rectangular block. the courtyards are connected by a winding, undulating walkway that forms a public loop protected from the sun and rain. an expansive yard at the main entrance forms a public square that represents the central room of typical shou county residences, while the more private areas are inspired by the private gardens of the loca...

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