Zibo OCT Art Center / Studio Zhu-Pei

Architects: Studio Zhu-Pei
Area: 2471 m²
Year: 2020
Photographs: XIA ZHI PICTURES, Weiqi Jin
Landscape Collaborator: L&A Design
Mep Consultant: Zibo Architecture Design and Research Institute
Lighting Consultant: Ning Field Lighting Design CO., LTD.
Contractor: Taixing No.1 Construction Group CO., LTD.
Design Principal: Pei Zhu
Design Team: Wilson Nugroho Markhono, Yina Luo Moore, Changchen You, Shun Zhang, Yian Liu, Ming Ji, Yanhong Chen, Ling Liu
Client: Zibo OCT Group CO., LTD.
Facade Consultant: King Glass Engineering CO., LTD.
City: Zibo
Country: China

Zibo OCT Art Center, a cultural hub designed in the remote outskirts, embodies the architectural essence inspired by the traditional Chinese “Heyuan” – a central courtyard encircled by multiple buildings. The center stands as a contemporary interpretation of this ancient layout, adopting its spatial organization and philosophical underpinnings to foster community engagement and cultural exchange.

Zibo oct art center / studio zhu-pei

Zibo OCT Art Center, an experimental and introverted structure, is strategically placed away from the urban bustle. The architectural design draws from the traditional Chinese academy, “Heyuan”, featuring a central courtyard surrounded by multiple buildings, which facilitates a secluded yet accessible environment.

The structure is characterized by its permeable, overhanging eaves and annular form that reflects the local cultural identity and addresses the regional climatic conditions. This design enhances the building’s public character, allowing for shaded and sheltered semi-outdoor spaces conducive to various activities regardless of weather conditions.

At the heart of the center lies the central courtyard, a flexible space capable of hosting gatherings, particularly during exhibition openings. The courtyard and surrounding corridors are designed to accommodate semi-outdoor activities during inclement weather, underlining the building’s functionality as a community-friendly space.

The building’s aesthetic is defined by its simplicity and the tactile roughness of its materials, including concrete roofs and masonry stone walls. The distinctive sagging of the hyperboloid roof, a result of gravitational pull, adds dynamic tension to the space, transforming what appears as a basic rectangular area into an engaging and variable environment.

Spatial dynamics within the building vary, offering areas of compression and expansion to reflect the architectural intent of movement and strength. The roof’s construction employs rough, fair-faced concrete cast in site, while the walls incorporate local stone masonry techniques prevalent in Shandong Province, enhancing the structure’s regional relevance.

The conceptual approach behind Zibo OCT Art Center is deeply rooted in the exploration of structural forms and tectonic expression. This ongoing architectural investigation emphasizes the creation of column-free spaces and the use of porous, sponge-like designs that facilitate a meandering, immersive experience for visitors.

Zibo oct art center / studio zhu-pei
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Zibo, Shandong, China

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