Shou County is located in the centre of Anhui Province. In ancient times, it was the home of the Chu culture and where Liu An, King of Huainan built a new township southeast of the old town on what used to be farmlands. The building was to include an art gallery, a cultural centre, a library and an archive. Zhu Pei studied the cultural roots of Shou County by observing old dwellings and ruins. The oriented living patterns with the vertical courtyard of the house facing inwards and the narrow alleys extending in all directions connecting the houses to each other reflect the local lifestyle and indicate the rules of construction
Cultural centre in China. Balance between the primary force of nature and modern construction - DesignOnWeb
Zhu Pei Studio designed the Shou County Culture and Art Centre by studying the cultural roots of Shou County and observing the old buildings and discovering how the ancestors sought a balance between the primary force of nature and the active construction without modern technologies
Several courtyards of different sizes are placed in a relatively closed rectangular block. They are connected by a winding walkway which is like a public ring protected from sun and rain. This path guides people over the bridge through the moat into the building. The large courtyard at the main entrance forms a public square that represents the tang wu (central hall) of typical Shou County residences, while the courtyard resembles the back garden of the local public houses
Walking along the loop, visitors can find themselves on different floors. The space is unpredictable with the light and shadow constantly moving to amaze visitors and letting them feel the artistic spirit of traditional Chinese architecture expressed in the principles of "hide, breathe, cultivate and wander"
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