aurelien chen's dragon mountain pavilion reinterprets traditional chinese landscapes

aurelien chen's dragon mountain pavilion reinterprets traditional chinese landscapes

this installation by french architect aurelien chen has been designed as an ethereal and abstracted version of a traditional chinese landscape. the structure primarily serves as a roadside landmark that draws attention to a natural park titled ‘dragon mountain’ — a landscape composed of mountains, forests, clouds, and water. called the ‘dragon mountain landmark pavilion’, the structure can be accessed from many different directions. when approaching the site from the street, the pavilion appears as a vibrant mountain made up of 200 steel poles.

aurelien chen dragon mountain
all images © aurelien chen | video by frederic henriques



however, upon closer inspection, visitors discover a miniature landscape to explore. the poles become a forest, while a black marble river leads towards the real mountain on the horizon. furthermore, aurelien chen has designed a series of reflective canopies to represent clouds. the perforations on these mirrored panels create an interplay of light and shadow, which mark the passing of time.

aurelien chen dragon mountain



‘in this peaceful setting, urban life goes on reflecting itself on the mirror canopies and on the surface of the poles,’ explains the architect. at night, the randomly perforated poles glow from within — turning the structure into a vibrant mountain of light. from the passing road, the poles appear as a single surface, while the effects created by the different materials reveal the shape of a new mountain.

aurelien chen dragon mountain



project info:


name: dragon mountain landmark pavilion
location: rizhao zhulong shan, shandong, china
architect and project lead: aurelien chen
overall planning: urban and rural planning and design institute of CSCEC
design support: zhijian workshop, zhou zhipeng (parametric design)
client: rizhao fada jituan
completion date: 2019
built area: 350 sqm
photography: aurelien chen
video: frederic henriques

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