Weihai Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine is situated in a coastal pinus thunbergii forest in the East New Town of Weihai near the sea, which covers a total construction area of around 8000m2. The hospital, as a comprehensive health care facility, enjoys three main parts: programme exhibition centre of the East New Town, Kangyang Yile Sanatorium and Medical Care Houses.
The original site of the hospital is an area of bungalows, long fallen into disrepair. The decision of choosing this site aims at preserving the surrounding pinus thunbergii forest to the utmose. Facing the status of the popular use of Chinese elements as a style of architecture or decoration as well as the strong and clear requirements of building in traditional Chinese style of the proprietor, the architect made an agreement with the proprietor on "imitating but not copying from the traditional style". Besides, this decision of the hospital project provides us a chance to look into some contemporary expression of traditional courtyard in northern China.
Final decision has made on inheriting the essence structure of Chinese style courtyard by using its scale and form based on a research on an array of traditional cases. However, the modern styles of choosing building materials, building details and construction realized the seeking of the balance between the experiential value of the place and the feature of the times.
The designers sorted out the scale, sequence and framework in a typological way, classifying the Chinese courtyard into a courtyard with four walls, a courtyard with two walls and two buildings facing each other's counterpart, a courtyard with four buildings on each side. According to the conditions of the site, different types of courtyards have been connected together by the corridor on the north-south axis and the east-west axis, thus reproducing the sense of layer after layer tour experience of Chinese traditional courtyard. Taking advantages of this site, these classified courtyards enclose the half-open central garden which faces the pinus thunbergii forest, while two wide open yardstick of gardens with different width divide the central garden into two parts: the half open court and the water court with a larger open space. With buildings or walls enclosing courtyards and courtyards enclosing gardens, the multistage nested of different-type courtyards provide people a rich spatial structure experience. The main design of the construction inherits the basic form of traditional northern architecture. As for the choosing of the building materials, more contemporary materials such as up-right lockrand of aluminum-magnesium-manganese, steel and wood binding components, and stones with better weather ability are used to replace traditional grey tile, grey brick, and wood. Considering the properties and structural characteristics of the material, more simple and contemporary architectural designs are used on the construction details and components to restore the traditional architecture style.
The car entrance to courtyard is capped and enclosed with white, light gray stone and gray aluminum. The surrounding corridors are used for people to walk through, which not only separate people and vehicles, but also form a scenery with plaque, pine and metal blinds screens when passing by.
The method of scenery-borrowing has been used in many places. By compassing the surrounding pinus thunbergii forest as part of the courtyards, the purity and elegance of the courtyard and the vigorous scene outside cast beautiful reflections.
The main entrance courtyard is surrounded by four walls, which changes the road direction from west to south. The main entrance and porch which are symmetric to the north-south going axis are very beautiful. The concise mirror waterscape and the reflection in the water naturally match to the function and entrance scene of the hospital. The west-facing sub entrance is constructed with square courtyards, corridors with eaves and window walls, which shapes an understate guidance way.
The second courtyard on the north-south direction is another type, surrounded by round corridors with eaves. The fitting circular patio and quadrangle courtyard reflect the simple philosophy "a square earth and spherical heavens, harmony between man and nature" in Chinese culture. Collecting from the rain, the waterscape in the courtyard presents different qualities of warmth and solitude when in the wet season and drought period.
Walking through the entrance courtyard and buildings, we can the third courtyard. These three courtyards form a three-side enclosure, making the eastern pinus thunbergii forest and back yard wider. From west to the east, the courtyard scale which enclose the space at first and then set free it forms a lawn-centered court for people's activities, a concise waterscape court and an ornamental waterscape court centered with isles and pine landscape.
The surrounding constructions form a visual penetration and space continuation with the central garden by being built into sotto portico, gray space and garth. The round windows and "frame view" on both sides of the courtyard provide a visual perception of picturesque sceneries everywhere for visitors.
The new Chinese style architecture is not a stacking of traditional elements, but a combination of modern elements and traditional elements based on the understanding of the latter. The new Chinese style creates buildings with traditional charm based on the modern aesthetic view.
The main body of the construction presents an inverted "Y" shape by using the combination of traditional flush gable roofs, double slope tops and few gable and hip roofs. The material of the roof is aluminum-magnesium-manganese plank, smooth and neat.
The construction of the façade lays stress on the interlacing of vertically divide lines, white walls, vertical landing window and vertical wooden color metal grille. The structure simplifies the double-deck building and casts a true-or-false reflection with the walls made of pure stones.
The low-rise Chinese style courtyard tucks away in the large pinus thunbergii forest. The combination of traditional courtyards, Chinese style, modern materials and temporary craftwork is an understanding and development of Chinese traditional courtyard style and scale as well as a temporary translation and reconstruction of traditional architecture style.