Yunyang Civic Cultural Center is located at Yunyang, a historic city alongside the bank of the Pengxi River, a branch of the Yangtze River.
It is comprised of an occupiable surface and a semicircular city square. The architectural form echoes the nearby dyke and a dialogue
between the river and the mountain is facilitated through architecture.
Yunyang Civil Cultural Center is a public cultural complex consisting of a 1,200-seat theater, a planning exhibition hall, a museum, libraries,
a cultural center and a youth activity center, of 5 floors in total, 24 meters in height. People can walk through the building from the mountain
to the water’s edge and experience the various activities in the building along the way. At the same time, the roof of the building is also the
stalls in the theatre, looking to the Yangtze River.
The traditional Chinese courtyard is our inspiration when we tried to interpret the history and culture of Yunyang. We introduced the
numerologically traditional 3 by 3 magic square as the principle spatial structure to create nine courtyards. The cascading surface acts both
the roof and the elevation of the building, extending down from the mountain into the river dyke, filling the gap between the mountain and
river. The central patios of each courtyard allow lights to diffuse, blurring the line of inside and outside. Thus, the building has become an
open-atmosphere city settlement.
The building facade is divided into areas for specific functions, such as seating, shading, protection, etc.. We choose terracotta panels with
varying dimensions to achieve those functional diversity, creating a variety of permeability and activity areas. We intend to achieve a quiet
architectural exterior in order to shift human experience to the surrounding landscape and to social activities themselves, away from the
The architecture of the Cultural Center was initially a controversial design as it lacked a clearly comprehensible and auspicious formal
metaphor, which was rather trendy at that time in China. After its completion in 2014, rather than being an iconic landmark as an object,
Yunyang Civic Cultural Center became a public space where citizens could better relate themselves to the landscape and the city. Now it
has become one of citizens‘ most frequent civic architecture in the city. It is a venue for daily square dancing and a popular site for wedding
photography. Its architectural iconicity emerged not from the building image but from the societal activities it engendered. It has been
nominated several prestigious wards, both national and internationals, including German Design Award, National Excellent Engineering
Survey and Design Industry Award, CHINAASC Architecture Design Award of China.