The Taozhu Red Memorial Renovation / Atelier Yipan
Photographs: Zhuoying Wu
Text description provided by the architects. The project is located in Taozhu street, zhuji, Zhejiang, which used to be a temporary sales office of Xiangsheng real estate. In 2020, the building was acquired by the local government to serve as a local memorial museum for Taozhu. The irregular shape of the original land use scope was not continued utilized in the land transfer examination and approval. The property line in this project can only be a rectangular area within the existing wall, and 15 meters width of public space should be left on the east side.
Within the limits of the building property line, we added two volumes to the site: a management room for the office and a public toilet. Mr. Qiu, the main planner of this Memorial, mentioned that “local memory should be traced back to the memory of the local earth”. As far as the history of physical space form is concerned, Zhuji is a typical water town in the south of the Yangtze River, and the “courtyard” is the prototype of its space.
We take the ‘interwoven courtyard’ as the design concept and hope to create a spatial experience by entering the alley of the village from the city street and then returning to the terrace courtyard of home by the courtyard space interwoven with warp and weft. In this way, the design can carry the path, experience, and emotions of visitors. The tiered courtyards spread out from the streets of the city, welcoming citizens from the streets into the site in different gestures. Different outdoor courtyards, with different scales and turns in different directions, lead into the exhibition hall.
After entering the main exhibition hall, different scales of the exhibition halls interweave and connect with each other, slowly unfold. The light gradually enters the exhibition hall from the top, the sides, and the distance, and the atmosphere created by the light and shade continuously unfolds in the diagonal space, and the tension of the space is constantly presented. End up with the visit of the museum and return back to the outdoor, there is an introverted and quiet square courtyard, where the emotions after the visiting can be released and the inner peace can be obtained.
Due to the change of the function, we wanted to minimize the commercial atmosphere of the original building, but at the same time, we didn’t want the original building to disappear completely. We believe that even though the original building is temporary, it was a “memory” of a time on the site. Therefore, we adopted a series of strategies to establish the relationship between the new and old buildings: masking, exposing, breaking, standing, separating, and stretching.
The exterior walls of the old houses are white with gray, forming the keynote of the villages in the South of the Yangtze River. We use dark gray art print as the background color, then spray white paint. Because the strength of the wall absorbing coating is random and uneven, the exterior wall effect of the gray change is formed.