changjiang art museum by vector architects is an oasis amid rapid urban development

changjiang art museum by vector architects is an oasis amid rapid urban development

in 2016, changjiang — a village in china’s shanxi province — was razed to make way for a cluster of high-rise residential towers. within this context of fast paced urban development, vector architects was commissioned to build an art museum that would serve as a shared cultural space for the community. consequently, the design team began the project by considering the best way to integrate the building within its surroundings.

all images © chen hao/vector architects



vector architects positioned an outdoor staircase at the southwest corner of the plot, which leads upwards to an open terrace. elevated above street level, and capable of hosting public activities, this plaza also connects to a independent footbridge that welcomes visitors and residents from the northern edge of the site. the galleries of the changjiang art museum are articulated around a large lightwell measuring 5.7 meters (19ft) in diameter and 16.4 meters (54ft) in height.



‘the lightwell is both the starting point and the end point,’ the architects explain. ‘people will start from passing through the bottom part of the lightwell, walk along the spiral staircase coiling up to the galleries while inadvertently looking back into the lightwell through the apertures at different levels, and eventually conclude the journey stepping down from the top gallery along the light well again back to the starting point.’



while inside the galleries, natural light is filtered and softened by the skylights, penetrating through a waffle slab ceiling. throughout the building, visitors are provided with glimpses of the surrounding city of taiyuan through carefully positioned windows. ‘as we see it, changjiang art museum is like a solid block of brick — occupying a specific space-time coordinate, bearing witness silently and attentively to the clamorous and ever-changing city around it,’ says vector architects.



video courtesy of vector architects



project info:


name: changjiang art museum
location: no.89, kaixuan road, xinghualing district, taiyuan, shanxi, china
architectural/ interior/ landscape design: vector architects
design principal: dong gong
project architect: sun dongping
construction management: zhao liangliang
site architect: guo tianshu, chen zhenqiang
design team: ma xiaokai, chen zhenqiang, zhang kai, jiang yucheng, teng xiaotong, zhao dan
structural & MEP engineering: beijing hongshi design co.,ltd.
LDI project architect: zhang cuizhen
LDI architect: li mo
structural design: xue wei, zhong zhihong, tian xi
mechanical & electrical design: shen juan, hao shufang, zhang jianxia, shi kefeng, li yingping
lighting consultant: X studio, school of architecture, tsinghua university
client: shanxi qiandu real estate development co.,ltd.
structure: reinforced concrete shear wall
material: wood-form concrete, brick, laminated bamboo
building area: 3,932 sqm
design period: 2016.05–2017.03
construction period: 2017.03–2019.09
photography: chen hao

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