In Wuhan, one of the largest inland cities nearChina’s eastern coast, a spiritual sanctuary rises near a wetlands preserve.
Across Asia, the red-crowned crane has long been associated with longevity, immortality, and spiritual transcendence. To help China’s Tai Kang Group bring a legend to life, we started with the simple form of a paper origami crane. Delicate creases are articulated in the hand-polished concrete exterior, cast with precision to hold glass panels that will ultimately enclose the space. An opening in the folds give the small, intimate space an expansive view of surrounding wetlands and a place to watch cranes take flight during funeral ceremonies. A spiral stair in the café leads to a meditation platform beneath a skylight, reinforcing the sense of flight in a tranquil setting.