Gehua Youth and Cultural Center

Gehua Youth and Cultural Center

OPEN Architecture
Qinhuangdao, China | View Map
Project Year
Art Galleries

Cultural Centres

Xia Zhi

Gehua Youth and Cultural Center

OPEN Architecture as Architects

This pioneer youth and cultural center is located in Beidaihe, Qinhuangdao. The whole building is surrounded by nature, protected from the noises and chaos of the city. The 2,700 sqm's building has various functional requirements: theater, gallery, activity spaces, DIY space, café, book bar, multi-media hall, master studio, VIP room and so on. With the aim of maximizing both the preservation of nature on site and the diversity of spatial qualities, OPEN designed a building which is completely fused with nature. Free flowing indoor spaces fully connect to the outdoor landscape. The same space can assume different functions for different occasions. The central courtyard is not only part of the landscape throughout the year but it is also an extension to the theatre for hosting a much larger crowd watching performances. The roof is covered with green and a variety of suitable outdoor activities, so 100% of the land is effectively used, an important aspect of the camp's operation.

Although the theatre is relatively small with about 120 seats, it is designed and equipped to be able to host high quality professional performances. When both sets of folding doors behind the stage are fully opened, the courtyard suddenly becomes a part of the theatre, creating a delightful surprise that transforms the small theatre into a large performing arena. The performers act and dance inside and outside, taking in the natural elements outside as part of the performance. The spectators will enjoy a totally different kind of theater experience both novel and unexpected. In another occasion, the courtyard risen along the slope can be an ideal auditorium for both performances and open-air cinema.

Gehua Youth and Cultural Center provides a place in sunshine and nature for children to discover and create their own experiences and stories. It is like a micro-society. This building is also a cultural center open all-year-round in this seasonal tourism city, hosting various performances and cultural activities. A small-scale building is able to contain significant social functions.

This is a building fused with nature, combining passive energy strategies with natural material, providing a completely flexible and open-ended experience in a plainly decorated space, making the building itself as a living textbook. This is a pilot project of national camping center which will appear in other cities in the future.

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