Drawing inspiration from the historical context of the building itself, Neri&Hu combined traditional oriental architecture with contemporary architectural language, introducing a new way to interpret the architectural expression.
“Inhabitants are spared the boredom of following the same streets every day… the network of routes is not arranged on one level, but follows instead an up-and-down course of steps, landings, cambered bridges, hanging streets. Combining segments of the various routes, elevated or on ground level, each inhabitant can enjoy every day the pleasure of a new itinerary to reach the same places.”
– Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Junshan Cultural Center is located just outside of Beijing in the midst of the undulating mountain ranges and meandering rivers near the Miyun Reservoir. Neri&Hu took advantage of the existing courtyard typology by crafting two sequences of interlocking journeys, one for clubhouse members, and one for sales center guests. All spaces are designed to echo the nature-based concept. The layering of the primary courtyard and smaller gardens allow the architecture to merge harmoniously with the natural environment.
The sculptural building quietly rises out of the water like a brick mass interlocked with gardens that blur the boundary between inside and outside.
On the façade, warm-toned wood pattern aluminum grilles form a veil that softens the heaviness of the brick facade. Interior spaces can be easily caught in sight, rendering each facet of the outer wall a different visual effect.
In terms of materiality, traditional gold brick tiles form the foundation of the building volume, extending from exterior landscape into the interior “in-between” spaces. With brick and wood panels as the primary backdrop for the interior, a common theme throughout the interior is the sculpted ceiling. Each space comes alive with the many different geometric cuts carved out to interact with the sky and daylight such that each space is ever-changing when light is reflected off of the rich texture of Venetian plaster. The layering of customized furniture, refined brass metal detail, natural veins of stone accents, the softness of fabric, and delicate lighting elements work together to compose a sense of understated luxury.
One of the most prominent spaces in the clubhouse is an art gallery, equipped with a series of hanging moveable walls for a flexible display system. The sculpted ceiling above gives some visual connection to the upper level, while a large glass picture window allows the space to extend into the courtyard.
On the second floor, a generous yet inviting private dining room complete with a bar and show-kitchen allows members to rent out the space for special functions. The red-wine and cigar lounge bar and rooftop deck on the third floor has an uninterrupted view of the surrounding mountainous landscape to the west.