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Multi Use

Thriving community centre provides a guiding light

“Response to the brief and community needs is commendable and the significance of the design to alter perception of the mountains is profound. A great example of how modest design can make the biggest impact,” Hazel Porter, Judge

Project: Art Center of Aranya

Award:  Mixed Use, Gold, 2022

Location: Jinshanling, Chengde, Hebei Province, China

Architect: Atelier Archmixing/ ZHUANG Shen

Client: Chengde Aranya

Art Center of Aranya packs an impressive punch despite its small stature. As well as being a hub for the local community it forms a landmark on the horizon, especially when lit up at night, when it acts as a lighthouse for residents driving home from the capital. This community arts centre set in Jinshanling in the foothills of northern China , north east of Beijing, features 15 brick pavilions of varying sizes which are all covered by the same sloping roof. They form a single flexible public space which can work separately or as a whole for all kinds of social events.  Reading spaces, places for performances and exhibitions, children's play areas and terraces looking out over the mountains are arranged around a central event space. 

Design highlights

The architects drew inspiration from traditional Chinese landscape paintings and philosophy when designing the building’s windows and large glazed walls. They provide an innovative viewing experience by dividing the surrounding mountain landscape into fragments which visitors’ imaginations then reconnect as a whole. There is no clear boundary between the interior and exterior - the thick steel grid roof and the use of brick materials inside creates a 'sense of the outdoors' under the covered space.

Photo credit: ZHU Runzi 

  • DESIGN TEAM: ZHUANG Shen, GONG Chenxi, QIU Mei, YI Ning, LI Jiahong, XU Fan, ZHANG Haochen, LI Wenwei(Intern), LIANG Jun(Intern)
    STRUCTURAL: Shanghai Wildness Structural Des. Firm Inc. (General partnership)
    ENGINEER: Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd.
  • CONSTRUCTOR: Chengde County Hongsheng Construction&Installation Engineering Co., Ltd.
    FACADE CONSULTANT: Shanghai Ciam Façade Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd.
    SUPPLIERS: Yixing Fubang Building Ceramics Co., Ltd.

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