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Publicly Accessible Buildings

Curvy arts centre at one with nature

“The way it frames the landscape and at the same time nestles into the hillside is ingenious,” Yasmin Shariff, Judge

Project: Agile Eden Yunnan Arts Centre

Award: Publicly Accessible Buildings, Gold, 2023

Location: Tengchong, China

Architect: XAA

Agile Eden Yunnan Arts Centre has been designed to seamlessly blend in with its natural setting of rivers and mountains. The main exhibition halls and offices are hidden underground, with only a few entrance spaces on the first floor.

Its gently curving external appearance takes inspiration from forms in nature. The oval shaped roof, constructed from stainless steel and aluminium, is designed to resemble two leaves in late autumn falling onto crystal clear water, or a boat resting in between the mountains. Its delicate structure almost seems to float above the water. Walls are clad in crystal grey laminated glass, dark grey volcanic rock and green stone plate.

Design highlights

A terraced space next to the water feature makes the most of the stunning mountain views. Natural volcanic rocks, abundant in Tengchong, are used as decorations for the stone piers and give a rustic texture. 

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Photo credit: Zhan Changheng, Shining Laboratory


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