Xiamen Luchao Kulangsu Art Park / Fancy Design
Text description provided by the architects. Luchao Kulangsu Art Park, located on the west coast of Kulangsu Island, used to be the Kulangsu Campus of Xiamen Academy of Arts and Design of Fuzhou University which was known as the “Huangpu Military Academy (previous outstanding military school in China) of Fujian Fine Arts”. In July 2017, with the glory of “Historic International Settlement”, Kulangsu was exalted as World Cultural Heritage. Once known as “the cradle of modern Chinese education”, the art island once again attracted the world’s attention. It was the very time for Xiamen Luchao Kulangsu Art Park to shoulder the mission of “bringing culture back to Kulangsu and reshaping Kulangsu with art”.
“KAP Gallery” was built in 1986, and used to be the sculpture studio of the Academy of Arts and Design, after the re-planning of the park, it will be used as an independent multifunction art space and keep operating continuously. The overall transformation follows the aesthetic paradigm of rough architecture in the 1980s, retains the original texture, and continues the age mark, allowing new memories to grow in the “shell” of the old building.
The exposed structural framework and wedge angles inside the building are preserved one by one, indicating the previous life mark of the “streamer hall”.The walls are only applied with plain cement texture paint to reform the original appearance of the building, so that time can form tension in the field and achieve a pure and simple aesthetic feeling.
In the exhibition space on the second to the third floor, the team widens the originally narrow maintenance path to meet the traffic needs during the exhibition. The regular body blocks of the corridor facade are interspersed and interacted to form an unified internal environment language, forming a visit experience with a sense of order and ceremony. Wide and thick corridor handrails and display booths embedded in the structural columns are covered with warm wood. With careful and subtle intervention techniques, visitors will gain an intimate sensory experience in the process of walking, watching, and resting.
The light travels wantonly in the tall building, and the transformation highlights the level, texture, and texture, endows the building with the poetic quality of not being explicit but inclusive, and tells the story of constant change. The sliding rail device at the top of the space originally used to transfer large stone sculptures is preserved for its historical value, with a mottled rust to remind people of the passage of time. The crabapple grain glass windows restored as before, the terrazzo floor with a sense of age, and the plaster corner lines on the ceiling are all signs of the architectural design details following from decades ago.
The window lattice is still, and light and shadow flow. Alternating functions and aesthetics, the team draws out the origin of the building through design. It awakens the memory between retaining and discarding, and then evolves the history and writes the present. Through restrained and rational design, the building completes its transition between old and new time and space, walking from the past to new life.