The community center is located in Yunzhai Village, Changyuan City of Henan Province, which has been listed as a Demonstration New Socialist Village. The site of the community center, sitting at the entrance of the village and bordering Provincial Highway 308, is flat and woody with poplars. With respect for natural environment of the site, we marked the locations of the trees and came up with a layout featuring a series of courtyards so that the trees can be preserved. With integrated design of both interior and exterior spaces, a “multi-dimensional Chinese garden” has been formed. For locals, it’s an auditorium for celebrations, film projections and scientific lectures, as well as a leisure space for seniors and children. For visitors, it’s a tourist center for tourist reception, services and cultural activities.
The prototype of traditional red-brick courtyards, which are typical in Central Plains, has been introduced into the design. With the help of local metal processing technologies, the multi-dimensional garden showcases a modern style with its unique technological features, while maintaining traditional characteristics of Chinese gardens. Inspired by layout of traditional gardens, the design includes a round courtyard with gravel pavement, a rectangular yard of trees, brick enclosures terraces, and specially designed traveling routes with access to these places, so a complex space is formed where different activities can take place. The spaces, varied in locations and features, serve different groups of people: the round courtyard at the south reveals a sense of ritual with its concentric form, making it a perfect place for both gatherings and ceremonies. On the viewing platform on the walkable roof, people can enjoy the beautiful scene of sunflower fields below. In the lounge, clerestory windows can not only facilitate natural ventilation, but also introduce natural light and shadow effects into the long lounge.
All construction team members are local residents, which means the context of surrounding rural areas have been duplicated in the project through the manually built red brick walls, endowing the building with unique features. Both interior and exterior finishes are made of red bricks, which were laid to form regular, grated (for sunshades and vents), gradient or protruding patterns, presenting diverse looks for facades while meeting various demands of the spaces. The rapid development of modern metal industry of Changyuan has promoted production and consumption of metal, and highly skilled welders can be easily found for the project. Dark Gray building parts made of local steel that can be easily obtained and processed have formed sharp contrast with the red bricks and thus created distinctive guiding spots in the building.