Jingdezhen·Sanbaopeng Ceramic Design Center, China by Office Mass

Following the forms, Capturing the scenery

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards Office Mass for providing the following description:


Jingdezhen Sanbaopeng Art Community is located in a valley in Xichaowu of Sanbao Village, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province. Office Mass completed the overall planning and designed four buildings inside. The Ceramic Design Center is one of them. Shaped like a full moon floating on the water, it is named Shuiyue Pavilion, namely water moon.

▼陶瓷设计中心外观,exterior view of the Ceramic Design Center ©田方方


质胜文则野 | Essence over ornament


▼场地原貌,original site ©曼景建筑

The valley of Xichaowu is kind of a piece of wild land defined by the winding streams and mountains on both sides. It is certainly not first-class scenery but still presents overflowing streams, undulating terrains, and luxuriant vegetations. When the essence exceeds the ornament, it tastes rustic; conversely, it goes clerkish. For such a place, the ideal state might be to keep and extend its wilderness and even infuse this spirit in future space, materials and lifestyles of the artists, just like the traditional Chinese painting in which being rustic is better than being clerkish.

▼溪流上的建筑,building above the stream ©田方方


随形——地形、器形 | Following forms–Land form and Vessel form


Since the programmes and needs of Sanbaopeng Art Community are diverse inside, and it is difficult to find consistent site features to guide the space design from outside, the total conformity of space with site is not necessary and may even weaken the characteristics of specific spaces and partial sites. Our strategy is to abandon this integration and use design as the intermediary between space and space, allowing each individual building to match its local site, and reinforce each other. As in traditional settlements, the generation of space is driven primarily by the principle of self-interest, and it grows from the bottom up.

▼江西婺源思溪延村聚落,Sixiyan settlement, Wuyuan, Jiangxi Province ©曼景建筑


For Shuiyue Pavilion, we place it at the turning point of a stream at the foot of the mountain. The stream flows from south to north, with its two sides high on the west, and lower on the east. In spite of such terrain and watercourse, it is still very common in surrounding valleys. When dealing with the fractional nature, we hope that the final space can maximize its wildness. In the consequence, the building gently crosses the stream in a soft form and touch the ground closely. We represent the rise and fall of original land through varying interior floor heights and use the turning point of the stream as the center of the inner water courtyard. It is artificial nature rather than a complete artifact. Such is architecture following the landform.

▼水月馆空间生成,Shuiyue Pavilion Space generation


建筑整体的形态则来源于匣钵——烧制瓷器时用来放置瓷器胎体,以便隔绝火焰与烟尘的器皿。匣钵是盛放瓷器的“器之器”,相信在千年瓷都,这便是最直接有力的空间图腾——此为建筑跟随 “器形”。

Inspiration of the form of Shuiyue Pavilion comes from sagger, a vessel used to place porcelain to keep away from flames and smoke when firing. Thus, the sagger is the vessel of vessels. In this ceramics capital with millennium history, perhaps it is the most direct and powerful spatial totem. Such is architecture following the vessel form.

▼匣钵形态, the form of sagger ©曼景建筑

▼建筑犹如漂浮于水面之上的匣钵,the building is like a sagger floating on the water ©陈颢

▼建筑回应山形水势,the volume follows the landform ©田方方


得景——内景、外景 | Capturing the scenery——Interior and Exterior


A sagger is placed between mountain and streams, with the inner courtyard capturing an original specimen of nature of green bamboo, plantain, and stream, framing the changing landscape, flowing water, and swaying trees. Such is interior scenery capture.

▼从室内看到的全景,panoramic view from interior ©田方方


Outside the sagger, there is a horizontal stripe varying in width by imitating the undulating terrain. We try to limit the gaze of people on this stripe. Wide part of the stripe corresponding public area inside, makes people feel like being in the wildness. Narrow part corresponding private area, provides each person a unique scenery. The stripe with various heights unfolds a panorama which follows the terrain and can be measured with our body. Such is exterior views capture.

▼叠水穿越建筑,Stream falling and passing through the building ©田方方

▼随地势起伏的水平缝隙,horizontal stripe imitating the undulating terrain ©田方方


形影——虚实、时光 | Form and Shadow——solid lighting


We were hesitant at first when deciding the sagger form since it might be heterogeneous if a round-shaped building is constructed among streams and mountains. If it has to be like this, the form should be soft and humble.

▼山水之间,building with its reflection ©田方方

对于这样的形态,我们不希望它呈现出过多的当代技术并突兀在山水之中,况且涉及到复杂精密的建筑技术,在当地建造也有太多不确定性;另外匣钵表面凹凸斑驳也需要通过表皮得到再现 。基于这两点考虑,我们决定将表面细分,并模糊它的精度。这样不仅可以避免以一个巨大而人工的建构体与自然环境相冲突,也可以降低曲面形态对于完成度的依赖。我们最终选择了锈蚀的铜片折弯形成的铜瓦,以钢索背挂形成“瓦帘”,作为建筑曲面部分的包裹。

For such a form, we hope not to involve too many modern techniques to make the building stark in the natural environment, and there are too many uncertainties if we adopt delicate and complex techniques locally. In addition, we need to represent the roughness and motley of the sagger through the facade. Based on these considerations, we decide to subdivide the surface and to blur its precision. By doing so, a conflict between a huge artificial construction and its natural surroundings can be avoided; it will also be less dependent on the level of construction to build such a curving surface. We choose copper-tiles bent from rusted copper sheets as the surface material and by threading the tiles with steel cables, a tile curtain is formed as the envelope.

▼背挂铜瓦,Cooper tile facade ©曼景建筑

▼钢索背挂形成“瓦帘”,the tiles are threaded with steel cables ©曼景建筑


The facade provides a visually dynamic state: a strong fortress body during the day, and a flap-thin surface at night when penetrated by interior light. The slow oxidation of copper in the natural environment will gradually show the impression of time. Eventually the sagger is mottled with copper green, the artificial touch will dim into nature.

▼白天,建筑的肌理和色彩融于环境之中,in the daytime, texture and color of the building merging into its surroundings ©陈颢

▼夜晚的立面经过室内光线的穿透薄如蝉翼,a flap-thin surface at night when penetrated by interior light ©田方方

▼夜景,night view ©田方方


灵感与自然的碰撞 | Inspirations from nature


At the beginning, Shuiyue Pavilion was designed to be a spatial collection which accommodates bookstores, cafes, ceramic displays and artist saloons. It was meant to be a mergence of modern life and wilderness, a living room of Sanbaopeng Art Community.

▼展示区,display area ©田方方


However, after Jingdezhen Ceramic Design Center moved in, the programme of Shuiyue Pavilion has changed. With the reconsiderations of spatial requirements, we fit the spatial structure with new programmes, and envision how space might be used in the future. We make the two platforms following the landform into a display area and an office area. The stairs connecting these two areas are used as the three-dimensional exhibition booth and an amphitheater. The ring rising and falling with the terrain is formed by the platforms and ramps. Wilderness fills both inside and outside of the ring, providing the coming ceramic designers with a space full of inspirations from nature.

▼办公区,working area ©田方方

▼办公区和会议室,working area and meeting room ©陈颢

▼建筑贴附在原生地形之上,Building attaching to the original landform ©田方方


虽存野意,不绝烟火 | Wilderness with earthly fireworks


The sagger placed among mountains and streams lies softly close to the ground. The streams flowing among the mountains transform the building into a bridge, twice crossing the water. The mottled surface of the copper tile in the light and shadow camouflage the building in nature. The sagger awakens the totem of locals and becomes a cultural icon as the vessel of vessel. Graduates from ceramics institute start their career when they enter the ceramic design center. Residents living nearby enjoy the shade by the water around the building at dusk. Shuiyue Pavilion has merged itself into local nature and culture. Such mergence is not a simulation of the environment but, but rather like the rust on copper tiles, eventually becoming a part of it.

▼黄昏鸟瞰,twilight aerial view ©曼景建筑

▼模型,model ©曼景建筑

▼总平面图,site plan

▼一层平面图,plan level 1

▼地下一层平面图,basement floor plan




▼双面背挂效果图,double-sided cooper tile system view


Project: Jingdezhen Sanbaopeng Ceramic Design Center
Location: Sanbao village, Jingdezhen, Jiangxi Province
Client: Jingdezhen Zhengyuan Cultural Industry Development Co., Ltd.
Site area: 1027㎡
Architect in Charge: Wu Hailong
Design Team: Wu Hailong, Zhao Lin, Li Sanjian, Tang Chengying, Miao Mengna, Wei Wei, Guo Sibo, Cheng Mengya, Mao Guangzhi, Li Shihui
Photography: Chen Hao, Tian Fangfang, Office Mass
Programme: Exhibition,Office
Architectural Design: Office Mass
Construction Drawing: Zhuo Er Architectural Design Co., Ltd, Wuhan
Interior Design: Office Mass
Landscape Design: Office Mass
Landscape Consultant: UAO

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