Jinhua Architecture Park
17 pavilions in a park along the Yiwu River, dedicated
to the memory of the poet Ai Qing.
Jinhua is a small city southwest of Shanghai with an ancient history and a thriving economy based on industry, agriculture and tourism.
In 2002 designer and curator Ai Weiwei invited 16 architects
from around the world to design a pavilion for a park on a ribbon
of land that stretches over 2 kilometers along the Yiwu River. The
Park is dedicated to the memory of his father, the poet Ai Qing,
who was born In Jinhua.
In Chinese gardens the point of observation is determined; the observer was guided by the design (pathways, corridors, bridges, tunnels, pavilions, or towers) to move to this points.
In the same way, a Chinese garden can never be completely surveyed from a certain point.
It consists of more or less isolated sections which must be
discovered gradually and enjoyed as the beholder continues his
stroll: he must follow the paths wander through tunnels ponder the
water, reach a pavilion from which a fascinating view unfolds. He
is led on into a composition that is never completely revealed.
These gardens are observed and contemplated gradually, in time,
through a succession of scenes, designed to unfold one after
The Exhibition room is a game full of surprises, discovering
tunnels, pathways and terraces, the pavilion guides the user though
its plaza and into and onto the building all the time.
Johan de Wachter Architects
Fun Design Consultancy
The restaurant's rigid but elegant structure of steel, stone and
bamboo represents an interpretation of the Chinese dining culture.
The traditional restaurant typology of "watching and being watched"
is emphasized in the project.
Restaurant 13 is integrated in the Park through its steel-bamboo
structure providing shadow and shelter. Its open ground floor plan
merges the restaurant with the park without a specific border. The
detailing of the roofscape refers to the way traditional Chinese
architecture deals with the nature elements.
The project's concept expands on an important confluence between the book and architecture in Chinese history: in the third century B.C.E., a descendant of the philosopher Confucius concealed several of his texts in a wall when the emperor ordered all Confucian writings burned.
The pavilion's smaller wing is perforated by an abstract
pattern, forming a reading porch open to the park beyond. Each
wing's stepped floors allow either space to be used as an impromptu
amphitheater for literary discussions or poetry readings.
The ministructure's interior concatenates a series of visual relationships, perspectival projections, and moiré fields, each layer adding to an understanding of the pavilion and the surrounding landscape.
As visitors move toward, into, and through these reciprocal
spaces, the pavilion reveals itself - its bent, tapered form
appears to expand and contract, its perforated walls and openings
creating an ever-changing montage of spaces between, within, and
beyond the ministructure and the viewer.
Erhard An-He Kinzelbach
The design interprets multimedia in its broadest sense and the programmatic content aims at addressing the individual as well as the collective application of multimedia.
The pavilion's large glazed facade opens towards the pathway and
serves both as entrance and interior projection screen. During
screenings, the mirror images visible on the glass façade from the
park serve as an electronic billboard, attracting passers-by to
Two idealized projector cones act as space constituting elements
which deform the adaptive figure of an initially tubular box. The
virtual space of the projecting light becomes the generating moment
for physical space. The single surface is transformed into an
ergo-topographic landscape that, supplemented by seating cushions,
renders additional furniture unnecessary. As a result, a versatile
and polyvalent space serves not only the various aspects of the
multimedia experience, but also as a gathering, lounging and
resting space in the middle of the park, superimposing the digital
with the physical realm.
The building is a narrow folded plane that has two faces,
reflecting the nature of the site as it sits between the City and
the Aiqing Cultural Park. The North face, looking toward the City,
displays the News while the South face, looking toward the Museum,
River and Park is contemplative and invites the display of
The nearly completed 17th pavilion, designed by Ai Weiwei, is a
small museum to hold Chinese ancient pottery. The building takes
its form from the simple, vernacular shape of a house - walls with
a gabled roof.
The idea is that half of it is above ground, and from this particular angle it looks like a normal house with a pitched roof. From the other side, however, you can see that in fact half of it is submerged - in section the building is hexagonal. The pathways in the forecourt are also hexagonal, in fact. The building is a single long slab, cast in reinforced concrete.
The slender shape of the building allows it to fit seamlessly
into the park landscape. The length and widthe of the building has
been carefully calculated according to a base measurement of six
meters not only to reinforce the six sides of the basic building
shape, but also to reinsure that the building is neither too large
nor too small. The structure is poured on-site concrete, with the
board form of the concrete displaying the texture of local bamboo
Photographed by Iwan Baan
Last updated: December 19, 2013
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