Tower of Bricks is a botanic art center located in Hengshui Botanic Park. The site of the project was previously occupied by an abandoned and demolished Hoffman kiln, which the symbol of the place and its history. The new public architecture resembles the formal and spatial composition of the former Hoffman kiln. By referring to this particular contextual history, the project intends to connect the past and future of site and recalls the memory and history of the past.
The project began with an abandoned Hoffman brick kiln, located between Hengshui wetland park and the city of Hengshui. It was once a place where factories used to drain their sewage water onto. As the only building on the wetland, the brick kiln was highly recognizable with its chimney. The kiln was abandoned due to national policy where the burning of bricks made from clay was banned for environmental protection. Eventually, the building was demolished by the government due to its collapsing condition.
With the new governmental plan to convert the wetland into a botanic park, Interval Architects decided that the memory of the demolished kiln should be honoured with the new architecture through connecting the past to the project.
Mainly showcasing plants, potteries and floral art, the new botanic art center is a public facility that contrasts with the kiln. The observation tower preserves the symbol and memory of the former chimney and the accessibility of the tower allows people to “climb up the chimney”. What was once a building purely for industrial production with no public access, the new botanic art center connects to the spatial history and is now open to the public as a cultural exhibition.
Interval Architects was co-founded by Oscar KO and GU Yunduan, with Olivia SHEN joining later as partner. To find out more, click here.
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