neri&hu unveils aranya art center in qinhuangdao, china
 

neri&hu unveils aranya art center in qinhuangdao, china

situated within the coastal city of qinhuangdao in northern china, neri&hu has completed the design of ‘aranya art center’ for a seaside resort community. tasked with the challenge by enlightened developer aranya, the shanghai-based practice first questioned the idea of ‘space for art versus communal space’, as the project seeks to create a place not only for artwork, but also for the whole community. with consideration being paid to the spiritual nature of residents, the resulting scheme has been formed around a large internal courtyard, providing an area for people to gather and forming a direct connection to the natural environment above.

neri & hu unveils aranya art center in qinhuangdao, china designboom

all images © pedro pegenaute

 

 

the heavy massing of the building is punctured by a large circular internal courtyard. inspired by the coastal waters nearby, neri&hu has imagined this part of the design to embody the notion of water, by having a void at the core of the entire volume. with its stepped amphitheater, the central space provides a variety of functions, such as a performance space or gathering place. this element of the design also embraces the concept of creating a place for the community, as well as displaying art.

neri & hu unveils aranya art center in qinhuangdao, china designboom

 

 

when viewed from outside, the architecture is articulated as a thick mass of concrete. with the varied textures utilized on the surface, the façade of the building expresses a heaviness, like a solid rock sitting firmly in the changing environment that surrounds it. the different surface treatments work to break up the volume, while also drawing attention to the openings that punctuate the elevations. when the day gives way to night, small parts of the façade emit a soft and subtle light from behind the modular concrete units, creating an element of intrigue as to what lies inside.

neri & hu unveils aranya art center in qinhuangdao, china designboom

 

 

upon entering into the interior, the art center is made up of a series of interlocking spaces, inviting visitors to freely explore as they ascend. the gallery spaces focus on the art itself and providing the optimum background for the enjoyment of art. a spiralling path leads through all the spaces and subtly directing visitors. starting at the bottom with the café, multi-purpose gallery, and an outdoor amphitheater, the path guides visitors through five distinct galleries, culminating at the rooftop where you get 360-degree viewing of the activities below.

neri & hu unveils aranya art center in qinhuangdao, china designboom

 

 

‘it was exciting for us to work with aranya on this project where we were able to explore a hybrid typology which combined design, art, and performance. the project pushes the boundaries of how architectural space deals with sensorial experiences in unexpected ways.’ — lyndon neri and rossana hu, founding partners of neri&hu design and research office, design principals of aranya art center.

neri & hu unveils aranya art center in qinhuangdao, china designboom

 

 

project info:

 

project name: ‘aranya art center’

location: qinhuangdao, china

architect: neri&hu

photography: pedro pegenaute

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