Recently crowned as the world’s second-largest economy, China continues to develop new and interesting ways of embracing the free market economy; this time by experimenting with private funding for public buildings.
The new JNC Sales Office/Community Art Center is an example of this inventive approach, where buildings are designed to respond to current and anticipated demographics, cultural and technological changes in innovative ways.
The Jimei New City District of Xiamen is an area expected to house 600,000 people in just a few short years. Currently surrounded by construction sites, noise, dust and undesirable views of existing commercial buildings, the site is at the middle of the newly developing suburb.
Funded privately by the community’s developer, the new JNC Sales Office will temporarily function as a sales office, housing the client’s offices, discussion spaces, VIP areas, a children’s play area, presentation theater, and a 32×20 foot model of the planned community.
Once development is complete however, the building’s function will be transformed into a Community Art Center, a landmark for the new community where the public can enjoy exhibits by local and regional artists.
As visitors arrive at the building, an entry path through a field of flowers and between two asymptotic black basalt walls allows one to decompress and remove themselves from the realm of the car.
A bright yellow corrugated metal drum contains the main building volume and contrasts the black basalt walls that funnel visitors to the entry while screening out undesirable views. These walls create a sense of compression as one moves toward the entry, before releasing visitors into the open interior space.
A large central garden surrounded by curved glass walls allows a connection to nature, bringing in natural ventilation and daylight while strengthening the facilities inward view-focus.
Location: Xiamen, China
Architect: Line and Space, LLC
Project Team: Les Wallach, FAIA (Lead Designer), Bob Clements, AIA, LEED AP (Project Architect), Henry Tom, AIA, NCARB (Project Manager), Mike Anglin, RA, LEED AP, John McColgin, Ray Jin LEED AP, Emily Starace RA, LEED AP
Area: 11,400 sqf
Photographs: Yang Chaoying, Line and Space, LLC