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GOA: A city-level cultural venue is not only a landmark construction, But also a significant civic space, That serves people via facilitating an open and vibrant public life, Beyond accentuating its traditional impression of sublimity and mystery.
场地：城市与山水的交界 Site: the Merging Belt Between City and Nature
Jiande is a county-level city in Zhejiang Province, the southern part of the Yangtze River Delta region on the southeast coast of China. Most of the Jiande is covered by hills and mountains, with the Xin’an River winding across.
Jiande Cultural Center by GOA sits in the heart of the city. It is a merging belt of the city and nature, nestling between the newly developed Qiandong CBD in the north and a stretch of undulating hills along the Xin’an River in the south.
▽项目与周边环境鸟瞰 Bird’s eye view of the project and surrounding environment
Along the riverbank, the site expands 600m long from east to west and 60-140m deep from north to south, facing a 280m-wide water surface. As a city-scale cultural complex, this project includes four venues: a public library, a museum, and two activity centers that serve different groups of people. The entire project encompasses an area of approximately 31,900㎡ above ground level.
Within such a long and narrow site, the large-volume architecture becomes a significant figure of the waterfront landscape at the endpoint of the extending urban axis. This curvilinear site presents both design opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, it maximizes the landscape interface at the water edge. On the other hand, it constrains the program organization of such a city-scale construction. Under such a specific condition, generating a monolithic landmark image and satisfying the functional demands while maintaining its spatial transparency and avoiding visual blockage become the design starting point.
▽夜景鸟瞰 At night have a bird’s eye view of
悬浮：释放底层 The Floating Quality: Releasing the Ground Floor
The water of the Xin’an River comes from the 70meter-deep bottom of its upstream reservoir; therefore, its temperature remains constant throughout the year at 12-17°C. As the seasons change, the temperature inversion between the air and water causes a layer of fog to blanket the river’s surface, blurring the boundary between the city and nature.
Fog is the clue of design. “By the time we visited the site early in the design process, we were amazed when encountering nature in such a misty setting.” Inspired by the scenery, architects adopt the fog’s floating and light quality as the design’s core image to echo the aesthetic conception of the hazy landscape.
▽白沙奇雾 White sands, fog
▽最初草图 The original sketches
A 600m-long architecture meanders along the river, echoing the contour of mountains. The volume is divided into four varying-sized cylindroid pavilions and connected by an undulating canopy roof atop, presenting geometry in minimal strokes and further emphasizing the formal dialogue between the building and the landscape.
Besides being a symbolic architectural gesture, the ribbon-shape roof is a 4m tall, single-story floor that accommodates the museum’s exhibition halls and offices. As it extends toward the river on the south, its height decreases, creating a cantilevered veranda canopy. The covered veranda on the 2nd floor is a 10m-wide continuous platform for public activities as well as a space to coordinate the transition of indoor space and outdoor environment.
▽雾气中的建筑 Buildings in the fog
Entrances are located on the 1st floor, while the functional programs are lifted to the 2nd and 3rd floors to release the ground area and allow the ground circulation to engage with urban streets and the waterfront landscape belt.
In addition to the entrances, the ground level supports small retail spaces. These fine-grained street-level facilities maintain a dynamic connection between cultural and urban life. Also, the north interface echoes the urban context by splitting into smaller individual pieces to harmonize with the scales of surrounding buildings.
▽典型剖面 A typical profile
▽设计模型 The design model
庇护：属于市民的屋檐 Pavilion: the Civic Eaves
Taking a leisurely stroll along the river on summer nights and appreciating the fresh cool breeze has been a popular activity of Jiande locals. The design understands, continues, and further enriches the existing waterfront activities in Jiande by creating a container for diversified dynamic life scenes rather than merely being a pretty sculpture.
The ribbon-shaped canopy roof is lifted from the ground plane to provide open access to the public plaza and a panoramic view of the rolling hills across the Xin’an River, making the architecture an attractor for people to wander and stay. The canopy roof horizontally inflates and shrinks. When it inflates, the area below becomes an indoor venue; when it shrinks, it becomes an outdoor plaza.
▽山水取景框 Landscape viewfinder
▽景观动图 Landscape dynamic figure
The spatial atmosphere contributes more to the spirit of a place than the architecture itself. The introduction of a 40m arc span creates a strong framing effect where the architecture’s central plaza meets the urban axis. This expansive span becomes a spectacle that attracts the attention of all inside and outside the building, establishing an instant connection between the architecture and landscape. Structures are reduced to four 14m-tall steel columns to maximize the visual relationship between the city and the natural environment, which draws people into Jiande’s magnificent landscape.
观览：多标高山水体验 Visiting Experience: a 3D-integrated Landscape
This multi-layered cultural complex incorporates sufficient outdoor and semi-outdoor civic spaces to facilitate a diverse array of landscape experiences. The integrated design of landscape and architecture establishes multi-level landscape viewing circulation.
▽不同高差的观览动线 The observation line with different height difference of gif
The meandering south waterfront interface emerges in its dynamic, flowing form and harmonizes with the surrounding landscape through terraced steps. The 3-tiered cascade visually extends the water surface towards the architecture, further blurring the boundary of water and landscape. Stretching toward the river, the 2nd-floor city-scale viewing platform allows people to observe nature from a distance while resting or strolling. Different altitude levels interact with the undulating accessible roof to offer varying landscape perspectives with each step.
▽景观空间动图 GIF of landscape space
Programs are curated around a central spindle atrium within each venue. All major functional spaces have a view of the river. For instance, a landscape scroll is unrolled in the library’s reading room as a background reading companion.
▽从功能空间看向外面的景象 View from the functional space to the outside
细部：“第六立面” Detail: the 6th Façade Interface
The architecture resembles a “ribbon” that accompanies people’s movements. The suspended ceiling surface, named the “6th façade” by the architects, becomes the most prominent interface for people to interact with the architecture as they walk through it.
Silver-gray metal aluminum panels with low reflectivity are chosen for the suspended ceiling to reduce visual weight. An additional layer of sealing effect on the edge eliminates the visual height of the structural beams to minimize the cantilever thickness and conceals the floodlight belts.
▽建筑细部空间 Architectural detail space
▽临江步道 Linjiang trails
A palette of neutral grey materials presents a humble architectural figure within the context. The stone base, glass, and aluminum panels contrast light and heavy characteristics. The diverse materials and interwoven textures enable each interface to generate a rhythmic playfulness on the façade, imbuing it with vivid expressions.
▽材料细部 Material details
回访：使用者之声 Revisit: the Voice from the Audiences
Since its grand opening, the Jiande Cultural Center has been well-received and appreciated by locals of all ages due to its inclusive public space quality and considerate landscape scale. It catalyzes the modern urban lifestyle, boosting the waterfront by providing possibilities for various activities.
▽在场馆中休闲娱乐的人们 People relaxing and entertaining in the stadium
It is a significant cultural landmark of this scenic city as it creates a new dialogue between the city and the landscape in a gentle and light posture, listening to the bustling city and the tranquil nature.
▽1层平面图 First floor plan
▽南立面图 South elevation
Project Name: Jiande Cultural Center
Planner & Architect: GOA (Group of Architects)
Location: Jiande, Zhejiang Province
GFA: 45,000 sqm
Image Copyright: GOA (Group of Architects)
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