Xiyuan Leisure Camp

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Xiyuan Leisure Camp

Site: Xipu, Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Clients: Chengdu Gongmao Corp.

Designer: Jiakun Liu (co-worker: Kan Wang, Lirong Qing, Xuefeng Lei)

Design/Completion: 1995-1996

Structure: Brick and reinforced concrete mixed structure

Size: 12.000 square meters

The general peripheral layout of Xiyuan Leisure Camp is designed on the enlightenment of Garden Paintings of the Qing Dynasty. Generally, the architecture intends to create a cultural landscape with a simple and scattered feature of traditional Chinese paintings.

The most important part of the camp is the architectural expression by the walls. Wall is the most essential architectural element, the permanent theme of Chinese architectural culture, as well as the product of brick structure, the cheapest, easiest and most popular construction. The architecture adopts brick structure with deliberately repeated linear walls, emphasizing a sense of straightforwardness and bricklaying composition. Walls largely painted in blue gray with red gray segments in between, are taken from familiar local buildings, which are built with red and gray bricks, and are refined for an abstract and dramatic expression. They stand out of the green environment, under the gray sky, harmonizing the architecture with the heaven and the earth. The long and low cobble wall is made of local materials, inserted into the green. Compared with the long solid wall, the cobble wall is an expressive vernacular. Sand, wood, stone and iron are used as material. All these materials adopt rough skills such as the roughcast plaster on the wall. I choose this kind of material and skills somewhat deliberately to exhibit the trace of handwork. On the other hand it’s a preventive treatment according to investment and construction skills to make the complete architecture not so fragile.

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