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Changsha Cultural Complex

The design for the 300,000 square meters (s.m.) Changsha Riverfront Cultural Park in the capital city of the Hunan Territory in China, includes a Concert Hall Complex, Museum, Library and Hotel, and is defined by a weaving of the vectors of the urban infrastructure with the organic flows of the natural riverfront landscape. This new embroidery mediates between the man-made grid of the city and the branching, subdividing organization of nature, creating a transitional field condition between street and water. In nature, fluids and other biological forces seek to flow on the paths of least resistance, and thus at threshold points of loading, they bifurcate, triangulate and subdivide in a system of capillaries. Similarly, this refined micro-system of interlocking pedestrian paths and landscape surfaces is able to establish a highly diffused transfer and interconnection between a diversity of different activities, around a series of pools, including amphitheaters, aviaries, benches, picnic areas, tea rooms, kiosks, a yacht club and marina and circuits for bicycles, roller-blading, jogging and dog walking.

An aggregation of flows within the capillary system of paths is channeled into a stream that meanders sinuously from north to south. At certain points of accumulation, a rotational pooling occurs, and from it an emergence of a cultural institution, like a lotus flower from a field of lily pads. In addition to the master-plan of the park, the competition requested the design of a 25,000 s.m. library, a 20,000 s.m. museum and a 15,000 s.m concert hall complex, as well as a 115,000 s.m hotel/convention center. For these buildings, a system of cores organizes branching petals of program. The large multiple level open core spaces allow for a transparency and interconnection between various functions. In the concert hall building, the large core serves as an open public amphitheater, from which, at certain times one can view the panoramic back projection of film and imagery from the radial system of small scale music halls. In the museum, the large core organizes a spiraling sequence of galleries and serves as a flexible space for ultra large scale exhibitions. The library atrium is smaller and more shaded, allowing for a diffused transfer of light to reading rooms below, and is marked by projecting meeting rooms.
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