Shui Cultural Center

West-line Studio

 

Located in the Southern Guizhou Province, this Cultural Center is a gateway to the land of the Shui, one of the ethnic minority groups in China who still retain their own language and traditions. 
The site, created by a bend in the river, is surrounded by water on three sides. On the other, a water square welcomes the visitors. Shui means water, which is why this element is so relevant.
The building itself consist of three main stripes. The ritual hall is characterized by sharp edges, strong colors and a narrow space. The second stripe still keeps the sharp roof but welcomes visitors with less dramatic tones and serves as reception hall. In the third stripe, which has three floors, a conventional space includes all the main functions: visitor and service center, cafeteria, toilets, business center and an upstairs office area. 
The light bronze facade creates a contrast with the heavy concrete structure, which is marked strongly by a wooden pattern, given by the pine quarterdecks. Pine wood is one of the most common materials in the Sandu area and the new structure echoes the traditional wooden architecture. 
With its iconic and distinct shape, the Shui Cultural Center stands as a new contemporary landmark which pays homage to the local culture and traditional architecture. The Shui culture is evoked using particular materials and shapes but also in recreating a holy space, able to submerge the visitor who is guided into a magic journey through the Shui's ancestral world.

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