LocationRuichang, Jiangxi, China
The brief called for a building which develops a sense of permanence and unique place in an entirely new development. The building was to celebrate international cultures yet resonate with Chinese national and local cultural traditions, create a new urbanisation, reinvent the established tyopology of a shopping centre, and develop low energy sustainable solutions for a building type which is more often than not enclosed and air conditioned.
The concept develops the building as an analogy of the journey up the mountain with a simple strong ordered external form, of the earth and rooted in it giving a sense of permanence in a new settlement and as homage to the nearby Mount Lu.
Earthen material forms the outer layers, the walls floors and soffits within. The surrounding walls are massive but permeable – breathing, shading, sheltering and capturing sun. They use verdant planting and water to purify and temper the air passing through the structure, each side of the structure responding to its own environmental conditions.