dongchuan tourist center
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The project is located in the Dongchuan region of Yunnan Province. The land here has a characteristic of red colour due to its rich copper content, and the terrain is undulating and continuous. Gorgeous gorges with huge differences in height, the lines of terraced fields, and the free-form colour blocks of farmland together form a natural abstract image. As one of the tourist destinations in Yunnan province, the owner invited us to design a visitor centre with ticket office, viewing platforms, and service facilities, and hoped that the project would increase the attractiveness of the site to visitors.

When we made our first site visit, we found that the natural landscape of the project had been partially destroyed by man, so at the beginning of design, we were thinking that the building should not only be used as a tool for attracting people, but also as a restoration of the earth's landforms, as well as re-establishing the interaction between the visitors and the site. We believed that this building could help people to better stay and stroll on the land, as well as to observe and experience some of the unique natural features of this area, such as the natural vegetation on the soil of Dongchuan area, the beautiful volumetric clouds, and the high-altitude terraces in the distance, etc. We aimed to furtherly enhance the visitor's subtle experience of these beautiful things from varies distances and scale levels through our design. 

We used the ring to repair slope wounds and stop erosion. Such a loop shapes the sense of entry into the site for first-time visitors, while limiting the impact of human building activity on the external environment. In addition, a figure-of-eight circulation bridge is used to tangent to the loop of the visitor centre. Whilst ensuring that visitors can easily walk and stop on the slopes, the new bridge further intensifies the experience of height difference on the slopes: a raised and cantilevered observation deck at the highest point, and a transparent glass walkway at the lowest point that is as close as possible to the vegetation on the ground. Halfway along the flow there are also platforms and seats for visitors to rest and take photos of the landscape.

The shape and flow of the building restores and caresses the terrain while suggesting a temporal sequence that is both intrinsic to the organisation of the visitor centre and a deliberately amplified viewing experience: the circled sky courtyard and the part of the sky circled by the arched bridge that looks into the distance are intended to point to the clouds in the sky - South of the Clouds (Literally the connotation of the name of Yunnan Province). At certain angles on the bridge, visitors will look back and be surprised to find themselves in the orbit of the “planets”. The clouds, the land, and the orbit of time are placed here in a visible order.

Project title: Dongchuan Tourist Center
Location: Dongchuan, Yunnan, China
Area: 1340 ㎡
Design Firm: Daipu Architects
Principal Architect: Dai Pu
Design Team: Song jiawen, Fan Qingxin, Kang Youwen, Valeryia Mazurkevich, Liu Dongyan
Design: 2019.07 – 2020.06