The Aranya Jinshanling Art Centre locates in a mountain residential community, at the base of a ridgeline surrounded by the natural beauty of northern China's vast mountain forests. The client wanted to create here a small but culturally significant public building as an entrance symbol as well as a community center. Since the whole community in this area is lack of community services, the architect has to modify several times the design schemes because the functional requirements are always increasing or changing. To sum up, the top three challenges for this project include: although small in size, the building must be an impressive landmark, providing as many and as flexible public services as possible, more crucially, creating a new mountain view inside the mountains based on an innovative mode of ‘view’. A big roof covers fifteen brick pavilions to form a grand brick pavilion, standing at the peak entrance corner for this boutique community. Small in size, but warm and high, like a lighthouse, it guides the residences back home after a long drive from Beijing and a sinuous ascending into the mountain. In order to create a fresh view inside this mountain area, we drew inspiration from Chinese traditional landscape paintings and philosophy, whenever the scene or path were blocked, imaginary will reconnect them into a whole. That’s why we applied thick brick pavilions as both the structure to support the roof and the spaces to accommodate various functions. Most important of all, between these solid pavilions, familiar landscape becomes an 'encounter'. The whole mountain landscape is divided into fragments when people moving in the space, and then reconnected in their brain. This technique of interrupting and disrupting the whole to achieve an overall intention is a special experience that combines human cognition with spatial design. The brick pavilions share similar rectangular form but in different sizes and functions, ranging from reading spaces, children's playground, terraces looking out over the mountains, entrances, staircases, lifts, equipment rooms and toilets. The interior space is divided by the 15 brick pavilions into three areas of various sizes. They can work separately or as a whole for all kinds of social events. There is no clear boundary between the interior and exterior. The high, thick steel grid roof and the use of brick materials in line with the retaining walls and outdoor paving create a 'sense of the outdoors' under the covered space. Instead of direct light, the interior is exposed to an atmosphere of soft, even natural light. The bottom louvre conceals the light source, while allowing subtle changes in brightness and atmosphere throughout the room over time, blurring the perception of time and creating a new dimension of perception. The dark color help hide the structure when enjoying the landscape. We have provided four schemes for the brick surface according to varied budgets and requirements, from the stereotonic of red bricks to the patterns of tiles. Finally, we have applied red tiles for both the wall and the ground, trying best to keep all tiles complete, adjusting with the mortar joint. Pattern changes to achieve delicate ornament quality, meanwhile avoid the false illusion of gravity resulting from laying real bricks. Invisible in the view and discontinuity are also the tectonic logic for the mullion design for the curtain walls.
A big roof covers fifteen brick pavilions to form a grand brick pavilion, standing at the peak entrance corner for a boutique community. Small in size, but warm and high, like a lighthouse, it guides the residences back home after a long drive from Beijing and a sinuous ascending into the mountain. Between these solid pavilions encounters landscape, mountain view and light you have already been familiar with are now cut and reconnected, redefining the whole landscape and experience. All pavilions enclose spaces for everyday use, yet also achieve a state of eternity. The high and thick steel grid roof creates a sense of openness for the space underneath, where all social events take place.