Medieval Rethink was in response to private commission to build a Cultural Centre for a small village in the Fujian District. The village dates back to the Song Dynasty with a beautiful concentric medieval planning orientated around an ancient rock formation called the “Ding Qi Stone” that symbolizes the origin of the village.
For the design of the Cultural Centre, we wanted to create a sense of place that the villagers can relate to more as a community centre where villager come and use the space on a day to day basis rather than a civic hall that will only be used on special occasions. This idea changes the look and feel of the cultural centre. The cultural centre becomes the new destination for villagers to congregate and to socially interact. Here, opportunities arise to great a truly cultural contemporary icon inspired by a historical monument that links old and new
This bring us back to the idea of linking old and new. How to reinterpret the ancient village into a contemporary piece of architecture.
Abstract and Translate - We broke down the village into components of Positive and Negative space. Defining functions as objects and stitching these objects together to natural courtyards of green space.
Representing the Past in the Future - We made a focus in the cultural centre. An object that is the primary function, a multipurpose hall that most villagers will congregate in large social events. Other functions are clustered around the object that naturally creates internal streets and courtyards that are filled with an abundance of natural landscape.
Public and Private Spaces - The cultural centre is design in a way that responds to its functional behaviour by separating public, semi-public to private spaces. Hence, as you travel up the building, one can experience more active space at lower levels leading to more quitter space at high level. By doing so the function are clearly defined with active multipurpose/training spaces at ground, exhibition/library at intermediate floor and archive/offices on the top floor
Green Public Space - All public spaces are naturally ventilated that allows natural landscapes to exist inside the cultural centre allowing visitors to relax and use the space for social interaction on a day to day basis
Freeing Up the ground floor - As the ground floor is an active floor with many active functions and visitor, the cultural centre is designed to free up the ground plane as much as possible to allow for pedestrian traffic.
Lifting the building - Also by lifting the ground plane, it allows natural light and ventilation into the basement car park so that one does not feel as if you are below ground when you are in the car park. This concept is enhanced further by bringing the internal courtyards down to the basement level as well.
Traffic Streamlines - Based on the 3 principle entrances into the cultural centre, the public vertical traffic is handles by public cores on the northern and southern courtyards. Service cores are located on the north east and south-east corners.
Location: An undisclosed Village in Guangdong, PRC
Area: Approx. 7000 square metre
Client: Undisclosed Private Committee
Design Team: Wai Tang, Kelvin Chu, Landy Liu and Peter Scott