front. Image © Wright

Langfang Silk Road International Cultural Exchange Center

WAY Studio

Interiors Designers
WAY Studio

Location
Langfang, Hebei Province, China

Category
Interiors Architecture

Design Team
Tao Zheng, Fernie Lai, Alan Hung, Tao Wang, Mark Wang, Hao Zeng, Melody Hwang, Jiaxin Li, Sida Yu, Wei Fan

Local Design Institute
Shenzhen Z&F Culture Construction CO., LTD

Contractor
Jianfeng Group, Okajima CO., LTD

Area
13000.0 m2

Project Year
2019

Photographs
Wright, Fernie Lai

Local Design Team
Zhuan Liu, Xiaoli Yu, Xuejing Li, Dongze Wei, Tianhang Chu, Kaifeng Fan

Structural Re-Design
Yuxiang Xu

Lighting Design
Ge Zhu

Client
ENN Group

WAY Studio recently completed the re-design for the west wing of Silk Road International Cultural Exchange Center.

balcony. Image © Wright
side. Image © Wright

The center is located in Langfang, He Bei, one of the new cultural hubs for northern China, and takes its name “Silk Road” after China’s recent “Belt and Road” initiative.

It is a mixed-use cultural complex, which contains an opera house, a theatre, a music hall in its center; a museum in its east wing; an art museum in its west wing, and commercial inserts scattered throughout.

side. Image © Fernie Lai

Each program has its own designated visitation route, allowing the entire complex to work together or individually.

The west wing of the cultural center houses the art museum, approximately 10,000 sqm. Within the atrium, the balconies on either side spread out like wings, connecting visitors to galleries at both ends.

up. Image © Wright
details. Image © Fernie Lai

WAY Studio reevaluated the circulation of this space and proposed bridges to connect existing balconies across the atrium, extending the exhibition spaces outward into this central public area, blurring the boundaries between thoroughfare and galleries while visitors wander up the spiraling avenue.

Inspired by theatre design itself, we’ve extended this relationship between seeing and being seen into the public space of the art museum, with articulated platforms on all sides offering views back into the center atrium, mimicking box offices overlooking a theatre stage.

skylight. Image © Wright
perspective. Image © Wright
perspective. Image © Wright
back. Image © Wright
stair. Image © Fernie Lai

This space can then house large sculptures or host performances for special events rather than acting only as a passageway. The central staircase was designed with two elevated platforms for just such occasions.

mouth. Image © Wright
glass block. Image © Wright
door handle. Image © Wright
mouth. Image © Wright

At the top of the stairs in the central atrium, a wall of glass bricks sits glimmering.

opening. Image © Wright
side. Image © Fernie Lai
balcony. Image © Fernie Lai
front. Image © Wright

The transparent and reflective nature of the glass blocks mimics light dancing on water from a distance, whilst functioning as a screen that hides the doorway into the main hall, inspired by the shadow wall of traditional courtyards or Chinese gardens.

side. Image © Fernie Lai
layers. Image © Wright
mouth. Image © Wright
skylight. Image © Wright
wing. Image © Wright

Vegetation within the glass adds a touch of nature within this artificial space.

balcony. Image © Wright
mouth. Image © Fernie Lai

Behind the wing-like formwork that houses the balcony corridors on either side of the atrium, intermediate skylights were created between the balcony walls and the original floor plate in order to allow natural light to filter from the skylight above, and to reflect natural light deeper into the corridor spaces.

mouth. Image © Fernie Lai

These openings are staggered to layer the light within the space, so that light and shadow dance across the blank white surfaces as the day passes in a perpetually evolving performance.

mouth. Image © Fernie Lai
wing. Image © Wright
balcony. Image © Wright
wing. Image © Wright