Pei Partnership Architects

Pei Partnership Architects

New York, NY


Yingxiu Youth & Children's Center

The YingXiu Youth and Children’s Cultural Center was established to commemorate the tragic earthquake that struck this town in Wenchuan County on May 12, 2008 taking the lives of nearly 10,000 people. Many of the victims were children so the creation of this center honors their memory and provides a living memorial to the youth of YingXiu.

The building occupies a strategic and prominent site at the convergence of the Min River and the Shaotang River that border the town. It is adjacent to several buildings that will be preserved in their collapsed state as memorials to perished victims, many of whom were students trapped in the rubble of crumbled structures. The buildings front a street that will be repaved and closed to vehicular traffic and that will terminate at the Cultural Center.

The form of the Yingxiu Youth and Children’s Cultural Center is comprised of two intersecting square blocks, one 4-storeys and the other 3-storeys in height, located parallel to the two rivers to the east and south and open westward toward the town. These overlapping forms establish a rich geometry to organize the internal program and to extend outward to connect the new building to its immediate site, and to the streets and buildings beyond.

The center is entered across a stone paved plaza on which we propose to erect a memorial sculpture and the national flag, together with a stand of ginko trees symbolizing longevity. This entrance is deeply recessed for weather protection and through a pair of revolving doors leads into a 3-story atrium enclosed with a 4-sided skylight defined by the overlapping squares. The courtyard is the building’s heart and serves as the major orienting device from which all programmed spaces are reached.

The program is arranged over 4 floors as follows,
Ground Floor:  an information counter and display area; a 179-seat auditorium; a 63-seat 4D theater; a multi-purpose room; and bathrooms.

Second Floor: earthquake simulation room; exhibition gallery; and café.

Third Floor: library; classrooms; teacher’ lounge; and additional bathrooms;

Fourth Floor: administration; 2-person dormitory; outdoor terrace; and additional bathrooms.

The building will be a steel-reinforced concrete structure. The exterior walls will be composed of brick and granite. Windows will be insulated. Interior flooring will be stone and wood on a concrete slab and the atrium walls will be lined with wood screens and paneling. The skylight will be steel and glass with aluminum tubing to filter light.
A mechanical plant will be located in the basement.

The site will include on-grade parking for 32 cars, trees, grass, and hardscape including seating and low walls

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Status: Under Construction
Location: Yingxiu, CN