HDD’s ‘mulan weichang visitor center’ project is located in the north east of hebei, china, connected to the inner mongolia grasslands, which is one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. throughout history, the ancient chinese emperors used to hold autumn hunting festivals in this region. the design team’s main goal is to blend the building into this vast nature seamlessly.


all images © su shengliang

 

 

in order to blend in the visitor center with its surroundings, chinese based design company HDD created different ways as a means to achieve the goal. the first is to be inspired by local architecture. the second is to use local material including old stone, used wooden beam and rattan. together with the surrounding micro landscape, the building is able to fit into the vast nature. the relationship between architecture and symbolism has been so overwhelmed throughout the human history. hence, the most difficult part of the project is to create an eternal relationship between the grasslands and the building.


the visitor center is located in the north east of hebei, connected to the inner mongolia grasslands

 

 

many elements are taken from the traditional yurt building — the project’s pattern and facade. two big circles create the main living room, extending the traditional yurt layout. the extended boxes become the semi-public space. this kind of layout makes the yurt fit the modern life style. in terms of facade designing, by creating wooden frames in different thickness, the flower shaped roof could be made. the interior space is derived from the traditional yurt interior by using framing in different direction.


many elements are taken from the traditional yurt building — the project’s pattern and facade

 

 

the main core of HDD’s ‘mulan weichang visitor center’ is the double circled lobby. the second floor provides the area for kids. the design concept of the main lobby is based on the yurt interior. in the future, it will also be the central library for the region. local children could come here to read and play. by using the sunken living space, the lobby creates an intimate space for people and the open kitchen area creates a shared space for inviting all guests to cook together. the extended windows become the main framing towards the vast landscape. people could have different views towards the mountains, rivers and grasslands.


the extended windows become the main framing towards the vast landscape

 

 

the main structure of the building consists of steel framing combined with triple layered low-e glass panels. the outside wooden frames become the shading system for the building and its connection follows the tectonic principle. all of the stone and wood used in the project comes from the local area for sustainable purposes. the construction method implemented with prefabricated pieces makes the visitor center an ecological development within the grasslands. after all, the micro landscape surrounding the building creates a dynamic experience for visitors.


the micro landscape surrounding the building creates a dynamic experience for visitors

 

 

the glass roof of the stargazing hut floats on top of the grass. this particular small pavilion provides a great experience for astronomy enthusiasts. in the future, this building might become ‘the catcher in the rye’ for this region. HDD hopes different people with different faith can come here to play together, sharing different ideas to forge into a strong group.


by using the sunken living space, the lobby creates an intimate space for people


the second floor provides the area for kids


local children could come here to read and play


the design team’s main goal is to blend the building into this vast nature seamlessly


it provides a great experience for astronomy enthusiasts


set within one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom

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