urban architecture mixed-use development mutualism hybrid space research

Urban Mutualism | Yang Li 

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Earthquake Memorial of Dujianyan City, Sichuan, China

academic work, solo, 2009

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Ancient China used courtyards to build an enviroment of both private and open.  It is easy to form a memorial atmosphere in a yard, which isolates the memorial place from the noisy city. Considering the height-level differences of the site and the circulation, the site was devided into 3 yards. The boundaries of the yards are walls, trees or water.The diferent openess of the yards are deceided by the boundaries, so that they are able to contain certain activities.



The fisrt yard is located in front of the building volume, composed of a shallow rectangular water pool and a surrounding road as well as one facade of the building.  Considering large-scaled traditional public memorial events, in which people often put Lotus lanterns or candles onto water in order to memorize the earthquake victims.

Meanwhile, the building facade is designed with square light holes on it, which glow in the night, and the reflection through the  water pool enhence greatly the memorial atomsphere.



The second yard, also the main Volume of the building, connects 2 different height levels, therefore the relationship between these 2 levels is emphasized in the design process. I planned the main body of the memorial building as a courtyard, which guarantees an undisturbed atomsphere inside.Three small yards called “Wounds” split the exhibition space on the ground floor into 3 parts, providing at the same time the spacial and visual  connection of different height levels. Each “Wound” aqquires a theme in relation to the earthquake.The “Wounds” brings light to the dark exhibition spaces on the ground floor, where people are “experiening” the earthquake. For these people the light

indicates a space full of light above them.



The third yard is the end of the exhibition circulation and a place where speeches or ceromonies are held. A memorial forest was planned, which is also accessable through the long ramp for the public population currents on the north side.The forest brings about a change in brightnes of the visitors’ sight- from dark grey to light green creating a peaceful enviroment, which brings comfort to the people.