Client: Chengchuan Art Gallery
Location: Zhuhai, China
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $255,000
Chengchuan Art Gallery
The renovation of the Chengchuan Ancestral temple built in 1865, required a new entryway, enclosures for the two courtyards and two ceiling installations to accommodate movable panels suspended for changing exhibitions. In total the space has a width of 26.3 meters, total depth of 43.6 meters, and a construction area of 1146 square meters. Materials use included brass, steel, glass, electric lighting and fixtures.
The design needed to respect the traditional qualities of the Chinese architecture. The renovation of this building needed to retain references to the traditional Chinese craftsmanship and balance the symbiosis between the exterior garden elements, traditional architecture and the design of the contemporary architect. These goals were critical for the preservation of the site, while providing the functionality of a modern exhibition center.
To insure climate control it was decided the original heavy doors are to be left open, augmented by a new set of glass doors outside the entrance, this element was designed by my partner Mr. Josh Wu. Together with Mr. Wu we envisioned the two courtyards enclosed within glass walls, which allow an unobstructed view of the stone columns surrounding them, yet provide the climate insulation needed to benefit the fragile art works. I developed a design for the ceiling element, based on traditional cabinet work found in the Forbidden City complex in Beijing, and which would augment the illumination of the existing ceiling yet provide a frame for track lighting and the placement of exhibition panels.
Other original elements a wooden temple screen, traditional wooden panels once blocking entry to the main hall, now adorn the side entry wall, the wood panels are now separated and spaced with glass brick to allow light penetration to the enclosed space behind, which functions as a storage facility. Because Mr. Wu and I adhere to a respectful admiration of these ancient buildings we endeavored to insure that the building of Chengchuan Art gallery remains in essence as it has been for hundreds of years, embodying the ancient character of the space.