No Name Art Museum / Atelier FCJZ
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Text description provided by the architects. Since a collection of Wu Dayu’s works may not be exhibited in this museum, the name Wu Dayu Art Museum has been discontinued. We are using No Name Art Museum only as a temporary measure. However, the design of this piece of architecture is very much inspired by him.
U Dayu. Wu Dayu (1903-1988) was an artist, educator and poet and is considered the founder of Chinese abstract painting. He was born in Yixing, Jiangsu, and went to France in 1922 to study oil painting and sculpture. After returning to China, he established the National Academy of Arts (now China Academy of Arts) in Hangzhou with Lin Fengmian and others and headed its department of Western painting. Wu lost his teaching position in the 1950s and painted in a ten square meter ceiling at home until his death.
Our architectural design is influenced by the art of Wu Dayu. His pursuit of “Li” (strength) and “Ning” (tranquility) in his small postcard-sized paintings prompted us to consider carefully the scale of architectural space. Wu’s poem, King Kongfurther vividly describes the dynamism and variability of architectural experience:
Shadow cheats on the figure
Time laughs at space
No sound and no trace
I go in and out of the darkness of time
time. Wu’s poem inspired us to explore the temporal dimension of architecture. Can time be engineered? I borrow the book of the French philosopher Francios Julien On time for theoretical guidance, we compared the time of China and Europe. Classical Western Time: The Observer is timeless; time and space are separated; time is uniform, divisible, unidirectional, with a beginning and an end. The past and future are clearly defined, but not the present. This is objective time. Traditional Chinese Time: The observer is in time; time and space cannot be separated; time varies, is continuous and comes, without beginning and end. This tense is always present and can be referred to as the subject tense. The elasticity of Chinese time offers design possibilities.
The case of a nine-turn bridge: If a body of water can be crossed in 3 steps, with a nine-turn bridge it may take 27 steps, which means the time is 9 times longer, therefore the space feels much larger . We combined Chinese time and Western perspective and designed wedge-shaped spaces, including programmed and clean: these spaces are stretched by perspective in one direction and compressed in the other; thus, the temporal-spatial perception changes with every movement of the visitor. It demonstrates the immensity of time and space and enriches the experience to the point where one can get lost and embark on a journey of discovery. The Wu Dayu Art Museum is a playground of space and time.
space. The essence of an art museum is to provide a You or wandering experience. Spatial relationship naturally becomes the main focus of the design. Therefore, in addition to perspective manipulation, we introduced the concept of “pure architectural space”: a series of open or semi-open spaces serving as transitions between programs. They are configured to possess dramatic tensions, enhancing the temporal and spatial dynamics during the process of traveling through the architecture. The overall spatial structure of this building complex is arranged in yuan (courtyards) and Jin (layers), generating a dialogue with Chinese architectural traditions and superimposing another layer of experience on the perspective game.
form. Paying attention to experiences in time-space allows us to break away from static compositions, which means that the formal relationship between stereoscopic volumes and planar elevations dissolves. Here, the work of the Swedish architect Sigurd Leverenz provided us with great inspiration.
Structure. The structural system of this project is partially beamless concrete slabs with irregularly shaped columns without beams and columns and partially steel frames.
Regional Culture + Material. Besides the space, we also pay homage in our design to the folk houses in Wuzhen, which is part of Jiangnan (south of the Yangtze River), in terms of material and color. Therefore, the use of clay tiles on the roofs and concrete tiles on the walls, as well as the exposure of concrete walls present a rich and subtle color scheme of black-white-grey. At this time, the construction of the landscape and interior of this building remains unfinished.