In the last ten years China has seen a major influx of foreign architecture. This new variety has played a fundamental role in the modernisation of China. Its importance in the development of Chinese architecture is also unquestionable, but most projects, however, have failed to relate to their context. They deliberately pursue an iconic and futuristic appearance, while neglecting years of history and urban participation.
Now that the speed of development is slowing down, it is finally the time for architecture of place and purpose. Our proposal reflects the values of traditional Chinese architecture and local history, guided by a sense of local urban culture. Instead of copying western models, we delved into local customs to find the typologies that would adjust the most easily to the lifestyle and practices of local inhabitants.
Vernacular architecture is the result of thousands of years of continuous research and experimentation. Southern China is warm and humid, therefore people organise their lives around outdoor spaces. Traditional Chinese architecture has always succeeded in achieving a perfect harmony between the natural and the built environments.
Just like its inspirational model, the building we proposed is of introspective nature, the programme is organised around a series of patios that relate with the urban surroundings. In rupture with some of the most recent projects in China, the Longhua Art Museum and Library is a place of quietness, reflection and introspection, a safe haven from the busy streets of Shenzhen.