Yan’an Baota Mountain Tourist Service Center

Architectural Design & Research Institute of Tsinghua University Co.,Ltd


Yan'an is an important birthplace of Chinese culture, in which Baota Mountain is one of the most important tourist attractions. Built in the Tang Dynasty (A.C. 618-907), Baota Tower is a significant historical and cultural heritage in China. In July 2013, Yan'an suffered a continuous heavy rainfall, causing kiln buildings to collapse and serious geological hazards. The government assigns the task to preserve the scenic spots, build a tourist center, and improve the functions of tourist services, inquiry, exhibition and parking, etc. We apply the strategy of Suturing the Landscape and Restoring the Ecology. Specifically, we retain and repair valuable architectural remains, for implanting original site memory into the design, reinforce potential loopholes, and control flood discharge and soil conservation to respond to possible disasters ahead. Besides, systematic restoration is made to reconstruct fragmented mountain ecology. Figuring out the relation among Baota tower, mountains, rivers, urban interface and people, we adopt landscaping treatment and local materials and techniques to exactly enable buildings to mosaic between mountains and rivers. The undulating roof space with a large area of plants and squares becomes a part of the scenic area for tourists to stop, visit and communicate. Meanwhile, it provides the most ceremonial route and brings tourists better experience. The yellow sandstone blocks are carved and built by local craftsmen. Under strong sunshine, they present rich and vivid light, shadow, texture and color changes. While preserving traditional construction technology, the construction process generates social benefit by bringing jobs to local craftsmen.

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