Chan Town Showroom is located within the Qianxin Scenic Area of Longnan County, Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, which is situated at the Qianshan Mountain, a stretch of the northeastern foothills of the Jiu-lian Mountain National Nature Reserve with an average altitude of 600 meters. The half-moon shaped site is halfway on a mountainside, vaguely visible even before arrival while circling up the mountain road. The north side of the site is wide open with unblocked views towards ridges from nearby and afar. The south side bounds the site against the mountain in the back yet divided by a curved footpath spiraling up in the south. The most significant physical condition of the site, on a separate note, is the 8-meter height difference from the east to the west.
The Town is surrounded by more than 100 thousand mu (almost 7,000 hectare) of natural forests, offering the visitors an fully immersed environment in which it seems that time no longer flows.
“We have visited the town many times, and always been touched by the grand natural landscape and scenery while wandering around. Therefore, we intended to design a piece of architecture emerging from and then being integrated back into the natural landscape, hoping that the architecture does not disturb the senses of time and space of the site.” —— John Zhang（Chief Architect，GWP Managing Partner）
The site is currently being used as a temporary parking lot, a critical functional program for the entire Scenic Area. It is not feasible to excavate at a different spot in the forest for another parking lot. Therefore, how to insert the showroom on the site while preserving the current parking function becomes especially important.
The design concept of the GWP team is to let the showroom “float” above the parking area. Meanwhile the incoming visitors from the east and west ends circulate towards each other at different heights until converging at the center of the site. The visitor traffic flow follows the terrain of the mountain like a symbol of Taiji and fully merges into the site, eliminating the visitors’ senses of height difference while they are wandering around the site with a natural transition in between the 8-meter drop. The floating showroom can also be vertically separated from the parking space so that both can exist in harmony with minimal mutual impact.
The entire building is constructed following the form of the mountain. The main building volume takes a free oval form, looking like a seed spread in the mountain and gradually merging with the ground, awaiting the greetings from sunshine, winds, and rains, full of hope. The two spiral ramps stretch out like an embrace, just as indicated in the name of the Chan (meaning “sincerely-hearted”) Town, holding together the architecture with the nature and the world in full harmony.
GWP team does not wish to disturb the fragile site with eccessive excavation and backfill, and thus create three levels of arc-shaped open corridors as a 24-hour public viewing platform, enriching the experience of viewing the mountains and ridges at different levels.
The building volume is divided into three main programs from top down: Main Exhibition Area, Office Area, and Reception Area. Each area is directly connected with the adjacent road of the same level, and thus can be approached as a flat floor from the outside, maximizing the operational efficiency of the space and minimizing any disturbances.
When the whole building lights up upon the nightfall, this oval glass sculpture will turn into a bright beacon in the forests in one blink, guiding the visitors in their directions forward.
“Chan Town is an AAAA National Scenic Area with a total planned area of almost 7,000 hectares We’ve been hoping that there could be a showroom space to focus on display of the planning of the town and its development blueprint. The design of GWP team not only resolves the functional requirements of showroom and parking, but also reflects the culture of “Qian” (Sincerity) through the design concept, and will even be integrated with the natural environment—all lead to a highly-expected piece of architectural work.” ——Xiaoming Xie （Chairman of Chan Town Ecological Agriculture Co., Ltd）
Time lingers, space staggers. Stop here and full-heartedly sense the extent of time; Come in here and experience the layers of space
Project Name: Chan Town Showroom Design Project Address: Ganzhou, Jiangxi, China Design Time: June 2020 - November 2020 Project Progress: Under Construction Land Area：6578㎡ Construction Area：8633㎡ Architectural Design: GWP Architects, GWP DESIGN & CONSULTING GROUP LIMITED Lead Architect: John Zhang，Ping Wang Project Management: Jackle Luo Design Team: John Zhang，Ping Wang，Jackle Luo，Xiangjun Huang，Chao Wu Owner: Jiangxi Chan Town Ecological Agriculture Co., Ltd Main building materials: concrete, glass
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