Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin, China by Zhanghua Architects | Yellowtrace

Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin, China by Zhanghua Architects | Yellowtrace

Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin, China by Zhanghua Architects | Yellowtrace

Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin, China by Zhanghua Architects | Yellowtrace

Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin, China by Zhanghua Architects | Yellowtrace

 

Looking somewhat like a crumpled brown paper bags, the Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin is the adventurous work of Chinese architects Zhanghua Architects. The forms of the sequential buildings are inspired by and named after the renowned sculpture artist Yu Qingcheng. Acclaimed for his work in clay, Qingcheng’s unique style has made him an international name.

The buildings form part of a sequence – each one transitioning into the other, each slightly different from the next. The chain of clay-clad buildings organically change their form, transitioning from the straight-walled structures at the start, to the more fluid or curved shapes at the end. The transition in form is most evident when comparing the first building to the shape of that of the last. As the buildings morph in shape and form, there is an engagement of the senses as one flows from one space into the next, noticing the changes in the physical space.

“From first to last, the building is full of movement and has two or more different forms at the different ends. The form is not a result but a process, a continuous flowing and changing physical space, a process from static to dynamic, a temporal-spatial evolution process. A body growing process, a non-focus building, a geometrical composition from linear to nonlinear changes with both topology and fractal characteristics,” explain the architects.

 

Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin, China by Zhanghua Architects | Yellowtrace

Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin, China by Zhanghua Architects | Yellowtrace

Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin, China by Zhanghua Architects | Yellowtrace

Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin, China by Zhanghua Architects | Yellowtrace

Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin, China by Zhanghua Architects | Yellowtrace

Yu Qingcheng University Gallery in Tianjin, China by Zhanghua Architects | Yellowtrace

 

Externally, the buildings are clad in terracotta tiles that range from large to small. Ever changing in size, the tiles appear to crack as they outgrow their shape, until they evolve into a perfectly smooth, clay skin seen on the final building.

The interior has had an equal amount of thought applied to it. Hard edges and clean lines slowly give way to more sinuous forms. Eventually, curved walls replace straight ones, accentuated by the application of clean white plaster. Concrete polished floors are illuminated by skylights and full-height windows. The natural light penetrates the internal structure from many different angles, makes it the perfect space to exhibit works of art or simply to enjoy being there to start with.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Zhanghua Architects.]

 

About The Author

Susanna McArdle

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

One Response

  1. Kenneth Mason

    While I really like the over all “look” of these structures ( the ongoing sense of change ) I have one reservation. Museums are best when infused with light. The green roof area and the irregular shaped windows don’t seem to allow a flood of light that marks many of the best museums.

    I also realize the damage sunlight can bring to art, but there should be some way of not only having light, but controling it as well.

    Very much appreciate having people bring these structures to we (currently) isolationist Americans.

    kapm

    Reply

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