Visitor Center, Lake Yangcheng Park, Kunshan
A World in a “Wall”
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Sitting at the west suburb of Kunshan, a booming industrial city, the Lake Yangcheng Park of 42.5 hectares is the largest public green space on the lake shore, visited heavily by central-city residents during the week ends. The linear building site lies between the main public parking lot and a curved boardwalk which leads people to the waterfront and other attractions.
By its nature, a visitor center is the front door of a place. But a door presumes the existence of a wall. Considering the linear shape of the site, I feel that it is appropriate to make the building a “wall.” Indeed, people getting out of their cars will see a curved “wall,” 99 meters long and 7.75 meters high, along the entire north side of the parking lot, Three doorways of varied sizes are punched out from the “wall,” opening up passages into the Park. Being accentuated by the surrounding “wall,” the sceneries revealed in the openings appear particularly enticing,
But one will soon find that this is not a simple solid wall. A layer of wood trellises runs parallel to an inner concrete wall. The trellises and future climbing plants make the “wall” appear light and ever-changing. At the west end, the trellis layer deviates from the concrete wall and forms a unique gesture, nodding to the nearby lake shore which is invisible from the parking lot.
The big surprise comes when people enter the doorways. Looking east and west, they will find that the “wall” in fact contains complex spaces between its two concrete exterior shells. Because few solid crossing partitions exist in the building, one can see various spaces, bright and dim, indoor and outdoor, high and low, orthogonal and diagonal, juxtaposed along the longitudinal direction of the cavity. For example, the sunken court under the ramp recalls a shadowy valley studded with trees.
The first floor provides an exhibition space for tourist orientation and several retail shops. A ramp leads visitors to a roof court which connects to a café and another shop. The café has its own roof deck that enjoys the best view of the Lake. The pairing of indoor and outdoor spaces to serve a function is one of the fundamental characteristics of Chinese traditional space.
Visitors passing through the “wall” will find a quiet wood deck connecting the back of the building and the existing boardwalk. Under the shades of dense trees, arriving and leaving tourists can get beers from the nearby shop and enjoy them here.
Location Lake Yangcheng Park, Hu-bin Road, Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, China
Project Period 2009-2012
Floor Area 844 square meters
Client Kunshan City Construction, Investment and Development Co., Ltd.
Architecture: Miao Design Studio (Design Architect), Pu Miao; Hanjia Design Group, Shanghai (Architect of Record), Jiang Ninqing
Structure: Shanghai Yuangui Structural Design Inc., Zhang Yewei, Liu Xiao
Engineering: Hanjia Design Group, Mu Lixin, Yu Yang, Wu Qiuyan
Photographer Pu Miao
New Architecture (China, 4/2014), Architectural Review Asia Pacific (Australia, No. 140, 2015), FuturARC (Singapore, Jan.-Feb./2016), archdaily.com
建筑面积 844 平方米
建筑：缪朴设计工作室 缪朴; 汉嘉设计集团 蒋宁清
《新建筑》(4/2014),《Architectural Review Asia Pacific》(澳大利亚, No. 140, 2015),《FuturARC》(新加坡, Jan.-Feb./2016)，archdaily.com
Upper left: The west part of the south elevation, as seen from the parking, the middle doorway is to the right.
Upper right: The east part of the south elevation, as seen from the parking, the middle doorway is to the left.
Looking north through the west doorway 通过西部门洞北望
Looking north through the east doorway 通过东部门洞北望
West end of the trellis wall in the south elevation 南立面中木格栅的西端
West elevation of the building opens itself toward the Lake
The framing behind the unique west end of the trellis wall
The space between the trellises and the concrete wall
Looking east from the middle doorway 从中部门洞内东望
From the middle doorway looking west along the interior of the building, No crossing partition hinders the views of a lighting well and the distant Lake.
Varied interior space as seen from the east doorway looking east
Shop along the north side and the ramp
The sunken court under the ramp 坡道下的下沉庭院
The ramp 坡道
The middle roof court entered from the ramp 由坡道进入的中部屋顶庭院
From the Café (to be finished) looking east toward the middle roof court and the ramp 从茶室(尚未装修)东望中部屋顶庭院及坡道
Inside the Café (to be finished), with a lighting well to the right
Look north from the interior of the Café (to be finished)
West roof court overlooking the Lake 可了望湖景的西部屋顶庭院
From the middle roof court looking east 从中部屋顶庭院东望
From the Shop at the east end of the second floor looking west
Looking through the middle doorway from the north side of the building
North side of the building, the existing boardwalk is to the left.
Wood deck along the north side of the building 建筑北面的木平台
Site Plan 总平面
First Floor Plan 一层平面
Upper: Second Floor Plan Lower: Roof Plan
上: 二层平面 下: 屋顶平面