A visit to the Banmu Tang Architects practice is enough to give visitors a clear idea of what integrated planning means for this group of architects and landscape designers. Immersed in natural vegetation on the outskirts of Taichung, the converted farmhouse that serves as their offices has seen the addition of containers to provide extra space.
The dialogue between interiors and exteriors creates a series of places for human encounter: a terrace among the trees, a teahouse and a garden surrounded by a man-made pond.
Given this premise, the Fu-Gui Sanyi Art & Culture Gallery was an ideal opportunity for the group to take on a subject where architecture and art not only interact, they are also an intrinsic part of nature.
The project developed out of an interest in the arts, aesthetics and nature that architect Chiang of Banmu Tang Architects has shared with Lin, artist of Fu-Gui, since their first meeting during their youth. Both define themselves as “craftsmen”, one of space, the other of art.
Their first joint project produced the Fu-Gui Art & Culture Gallery of Yingge. This has now been followed a decade later by the Fu-Gui Sanyi.
Located in a mountainous region, the site lies on a six-metre gradient, a feature that has been cleverly used to create solids and voids both in the man-made structure and natural landscape. It references what the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu affirms in his book “Tao Te Ching”:
“… to use what is there, you must use what is not.” (Lao Tzu, “Tao Te Ching”, Mondadori, Milan 1998, p.29 in the Italian version).
Both the floor plan and third floor (where a long tree-top
walkway-cum-bridge “closes” the open side of the C-shaped structure on the second floor) give the impression of a building with a central void.
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