| 17 : 30 – 27 January 2018 |
Located among grasslands and animals in Heibei, the Mulan Weichang visitor center designed by HDD is inspired from shape of traditional yurts.
The visitor center is located in the north east of Hebei province which is a land of grass, animals and gods. The place is connected to Inner Mongolia grassland, considered as one of the most beautiful landscapes on the earth. It is said that the ancient Chinese emperors used to hold autumn hunting festivals here through the history. Considering the wildlife, history, traditionalism, surrounding landscape and location of the center, Shanghai based Huadu Architecture & Urban Design Group(HDD) came up with the idea of two intersecting circles forming the core of this center.
Evolution of form
From the Architects –
The world of wildlife
This is the world of grass, animal and god. The imagination and curiosity of human beings towards grasslands is always fresh. The aboriginal people have their inner mind towards respecting nature, which is very important value towards contemporary society. The mixture of different culture creates great lands for all kinds of art.
Natural grassland around
Architecture: the vector of culture
The yurt is the one of the earliest architecture prototype in the human history. The round shape of yurt creates incredible harmony relationship between nature and people. Meanwhile, the double circle stands for luckiness. The combination of different culture creates such a unique architecture. Meanwhile, the shape of the roof has the same design language with traditional Chinese architecture. The mixture of culture also represents the mixture situation in Weichang- the only Man-Meng self governor town in China.
Ground floor plan
Natural stone and wood construction
Symbolism: Tradition and modern
The relationship between architecture and symbolism is so overwhelmed along the human history. The most difficult part of the project is to create eternal relationship between grassland and the building. Many elements are taken from the traditional yurt building, for example: the pattern and the facade.
Two big circles create the main living room, extending the traditional yurt layout, while the extended boxes become the semi-public space. This kind of layout makes the yurt fit the modern life style. In terms of facade designing, by creating wooden frames in different thickness, the flower shaped roof could be made. The interior space is derived from the traditional yurt interior by using framing in different direction.
Roofing construction detail
The architecture always has great relationship with its location. The old Roman people call it Genius Loci. In this particular project, the genius loci could easily overcome any living appearance. Mulan Weichang is located in the north east of Hebei province; connect to inner Mongolia grassland, which is one of the most beautiful landscape on the earth. The ancient Chinese emperors used to hold autumn hunting festival through the history.
“All beings on the grassland have equal rights according the people here”.
Our main goal is to blend the building into this vast nature seamlessly. 3 different ways are created in order to achieve the goal. The first is to be inspired by local architecture. The second is to use local material including old stone, used wooden beam and rattan. Together with surrounding micro landscape, the building could fit into the vast nature.
Approach towards the center
From outside to inside
The main core of the building is the double circled lobby, also served as a local library. The second floor provides the area for kids. In the future, it will also be the central library for the region. The design concept of the main lobby is based on the yurt interior.
First floor plan
Yurt inspired roofing lets in daylight
Local children could come here to read and play. By using the sunken living space, the lobby creates an intuitive space for people. The extended windows become the main framing towards vast landscape. People could have different views towards mountain, river, grassland and sheep. The open kitchen area creates a shared space for inviting all guests to cook together.
Picturesque extended windows
Surround the building is the area of micro landscape, creating dynamic experience for visitors. The glass roof of Stargazing hut floats on the top of the grass. This particular small pavilion provides great experience for astronomy enthusiast.
Inside the stargazing hut
This building becomes The Catcher in the Rye for this region. We hope different people with different faith could come here to play together, sharing different ideas to forge into a strong group.
An evening view of the center
Project details –
Project Name – Mulan Weichang visitor center
Location – Mulan Weichang, Hebei province, China
Client name – Brain Media, Weichang Kangyang Tourism development co.,ltd.
Architect Firm – Huadu (Shanghai) Architecture & Urban Design Group (HDD)
Lead Architect – Zhang Hai’ao
Design Team – Yao Qiwei, Hang Xu, Wu Hao, Li Di, Li Hongxi, Wang Tingting, Zhao Shuang
Project type – Semi -public space, Visitor center, Lodge, Library
Structure Team – Wang Guoxun, Zhang Yi, Pu Yiweng
Construction – Chengde Jiacheng construction co., ltd.
Management – Ying Hongwei
Special Thanks – Li Qing, Li Guang, Wang Xianfeng, Wang Xiaojun, Bai Long
Structure – Steel
Completion Year – 2017
Built Up Area – 275 sqm.
Photography Credits – © Su Shengliang