aranya brick pavilions art center offers views of the chengde mountains

the aranya art center overlooks the idyllic mountains of chengde

Atelier Archmixing designs Aranya Art Center, Jinshanling, in the mountainous Chengde region, China. Perched on a ridgeline at the peak entrance to a boutique community, the art center sits beside a winding path that connects the boundless northern mountains and the valley community on the other side. Due to its convenient location, the art center is not only an entry landmark and hub for the local community, but it also functions as a viewing vantage point to create a unique landscape experience. scenic encompassing for its visitors. It is composed of a large sloping roof that covers 15 monoliths brick pavilions, between which the idyllic mountain view is divided and reconnected, redefining the whole landscape and experience.

the interior space is divided by the 15 brick pavilions into three areas of varying sizes-

all photographs by ZHU Runzi

Atelier Archmixing designs 15 monolithic brick pavilions

In order to integrate Aranya Art Center Jinshanling into the surrounding nature and create a unique experience for art center visitors to enjoy the surrounding mountainous views, Atelier Archmixing creates 15 monolithic brick pavilions of various functions, organized together to form a large covered space. Between these, the experience of the surrounding landscape becomes an “encounter” for visitors to the art centre. The idyllic landscape, the mountain view and the light are now interrupted and divided into fragments by the 15 pavilions, then reconnected in the imagination, redefining the whole landscape and experience and sculpting a distinct interiority. With its large glazed walls and perfectly paved outdoor plaza, the Chinese architectural practice blurs the line between interior and exterior, blending the visitor’s experience of interior space with their views of the landscape outside.

The solid brick pavilions form the character of the building, forming a space that is both everyday and eternal, and providing an interesting visual and spatial impression of the exterior. Inside, the pillar-shaped pavilions divide the space into three areas of varying sizes: the lobby and service area, the lounge and cafe, and a large event space. The other ancillary spaces, including the reading pavilion, the children’s cabin, the observation deck and the entrance pavilion, are arranged around the central event space.

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steel roof frame and interior space

a structural landmark amidst natural beauty

Chinese architectural practice sought to design a landmark from the small building surrounded by natural beauty. It must be neither too humble nor too arrogant, while remaining in harmony with the human scale of the community street. The east and south facades of the art center face the road below and take advantage of the view of the continuous mountainous landscape. The northern facade oversees the villas that stretch along the hillside, while the western facade sits next to the community and acts as an endpoint to the street.

The building features a thick, volumetric polygonal roof that creates a sense of openness for the space below. The carefully designed height and slope of the steel grid roof gives the building a low facade at the end facing the community, responding to the scale of the villas. At the same time, a volumetric base envelops the site like a retaining wall and raises it above the street, giving the building a monumental scale facing the mountains. The base of the wall is integrated with the whole building, with a triangular platform finished in a 2.1 m high shuttle-like form. Between this and the retaining wall of the adjacent villa, Atelier Archmixing places pedestrian steps so that visitors can climb into the art center or turn to the inner community street. The base also forms a small square on the side of the building facing the mountains. With seamless paving, this place is a spatial end to the site that blurs the boundary between the outside and the inside, and draws people’s gaze to the mountains and the sky.

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15 brick pavilions divide interior space and fragment mountain views