A stunning new visitor centre has been unveiled in Hebei province, China that marries modern materials with traditional design in order to create a unique, yurt-like structure that blends in with the surrounding grasslands.
Created by Huadu Architecture & Urban Design Group for the Weichang Kangyang Tourism Development Company, the Mulan Weichang Visitor Centre is built on a 275-square-metre site that offers beautiful views of the surrounding region. “Our main goal was to blend the building into this vast nature seamlessly. It was inspired by local architecture, and local material including old stone, second-hand wooden beams and rattans were used,” HDD Architects said.
The visitor centre is comprised of two double circles, a symbol of luck in China, while the shape of the roof is taken from traditional Chinese architecture. Inside, the two circles create the main space, while extended boxes jut out to become semi-public spaces. On the façade, wooden frames have been created in different thicknesses, joining to meet at a flower-like peak.
The main core of the building also serves as a local library, while the second floor houses a special area for children. A sunken living space has been included in the design in order to create a sense of intimacy, and the extended windows frame the landscape and offer views of mountains, rivers and grasslands, as well as local sheep. An open kitchen puts emphasis on a shared space, inviting guests to cook together and interact with each other.
With steel framing, triple-layered glass panels and exterior wooden frames that become a shading system, the building balances functionality with contemporary and traditional design elements. The area itself holds particular historical significance, with ancient Chinese emperors having used it to host autumn hunting festivals.