The DQZ Culture Center sits on a site in a newly developed part of the city of Daqiuzhuang situated approximately 200 kilometers south of Beijing in northern China. A rural village in a desolated salty marshland only 30 years ago, Daqiuzhuang has grown from village to city rapidly due to its early investments in and production of the city’s main commodity: steel.
The DQZ Culture Center building occupies a redesigned plaza that mimics the historic marshland of the city in its tone and variety of plantlife, combining landscape, trees, flexible water features, and gathering spaces into a new urban center with the 20,000 M2 / 200,000 SF DQZ Cultural Center at its core.
The new DQZ building takes its form from the traditional Chinese courtyard square. By lifting the square in the diagonal corners, dual entry points to the building are created which lead visitors and locals through the building’s ground level public programs to the mid- and upper-level exhibition spaces while extending the existing North-South axis of the surrounding city.
The inner courtyard of the building creates a protected lush landscape with cherry trees and terraces, which can be used as an outdoor venue for local theater and festival events. The central exhibition space of the building opens up visually through glass facades to the courtyard connecting the interior spaces with the exterior courtyard.
Celebrating the history of the city’s growth, the DQZ building’s facade is made of perforated steel plates. This allows for natural ventilation as well as the integration of the building’s signage into the facade itself. The building is designed to integrate geo-thermal heating for heating and cooling as well the integration of PV cells in parts of the roof and in areas of the public plaza.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Daqiuzhuang, Tianjin, China.
My Role: Architect