A Fissure in the Earth: Qiseshan Quarry Garden Visitor Centre
Background：Regeneration of a redundant quarry
The Qiseshan Quarry Garden and Visitor Centre are located in a redundant quarry that ceased operations in 2017. As a result of intensive mining, the soil and vegetation in this area has been severely damaged over the years. With the environmental protection initiatives promoted by the local government and supported through investment from private capital, the subsequent ecological restoration has been on-going for several years. As a result, the previous damaged land is now covered with greeneries, with a new ecological public garden to open in 2020.
Concept: 'A fissure of the earth'
In order to make a reference the site’s previous incarnation, the design concept of the Visitor Centre takes the meaning of ‘a fissure of the earth’, and uses a sharp and powerful architectural language to remind people of the ecological damage that has happened here. As the ‘fissure’ starts from the north, the building rises from the ground and ascends to the second floor as the form extends southwards. With the sense that the building is embedded into the landscape, the continuous roofline blurs the boundary between the ground and the floors, creating a sense of dynamic movement as it rises into the air at the southern point. The horizontality is defined by the buildings mass and langue of the elevation details echoing both the vast wilderness of its contextual setting and the strata of the ground below.
Configuration: A semi-open courtyard layout
A central courtyard defines the heart of the complex, as daily activities from catering and shopping to exhibition display and property management are set out in rational and intuitive layout. The outdoor passages, steps and terraces interspersed between the built spaces create a rich walking experience, stimulating not only the interaction between tourists and the building, but also providing multiple perspectives for viewing the Garden. In summary being a poetic composition of harmony between a restored landscape and iconic architecture.