Changzhou, China will soon have a massive new cultural center complete with an arts museum, a science and technology museum, and a library. The complex will be designed by Hamburg-based GMP Architekten, who have made natural daylight a vital design strategy. Skylights, atria, transparent facades, and bright white surfaces will encourage light to reach the inner depths of the large facility. Generous landscaping (which includes a waterway right through the center of the Changzhou Culture Center) will make this a desirable meeting place and a prominent landmark for the city.
GMP Architekten recently won first prize in the international competition to build the culture center in the newly created Changzhou city center. The 350,000 sq meter project will be six times larger than the Louvre in Paris and will include a number of hubs such as an arts museum, a science and technology museum and a library. The center will also provide for service facilities that support the center for culture in the Xinbei district of the city. The basement will provide for an underground parking garage and the lower levels will be filled with retail shops and restaurants.
The complex’s form is created from 6 modular buildings with the same cantilevered and arced volume. Placed together, these modules create a much larger volume with a flat roof and large open pavilions in the middle. From the outside, each module looks the same, but varies significantly on the inside with different architectural functions to cater to the specific programs within. The facades are clad in staggered grey slate and transparent glass to move light through and around the space, while skylights and atria help pull light down into the modules. Finally generous landscaping will work to make the center a desirable meeting place and a water course that cuts diagonally through the site will be a prominent feature. Like a natural canyon, the waterway is a landscaping element, helps create a microclimate and pulls light into the lower levels.
Images ©Crystal Digital Technology/GMP Architekten