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Mecanoo : Longgang Cultural Centre

If Paris has its canopy, the city of Shenzhen (China) has also been invaded by an OANI: Architectural Unidentified Object. Located in the heart of the Longgang district, the monumental complex denotes a brightly colored coating and its horizontality assumed in an urban landscape made of skyscrapers. Back on a book like no other.

The least we can say is that the municipality of Shenzhen has given a place of choice to culture! It is indeed on a surface of 95 000 square meters that coexist art gallery, science museum, youth center and bookseller. An impressive area spread over four volumes of four levels each, whose various silhouettes with curved edges and inclined facades are made consistent by a single formal language, a common height and a similar red metal surface treatment. The openings on the outside materialized by blindfolded windows, discrete views of the street but present once the many entries placed on the covered places crossed.

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Each program has its own premises whose concrete structure poured on site is left visible to visitors who walk under the beams, columns and massive cores in a set where everything is revealed. A biased by the wide presence of wooden elements - stairs, ceilings or furniture.

"The concrete structure has been carefully designed to be part of the visitor experience. Wandering in the building is like watching a concrete sculpture poured from the inside. " Mecanoo

The highlight of the building lies in its multiplicity of programs, in line with the recent proliferation of Chinese cultural ensembles - the International Design Museum of Alvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira, the Xiangmi Scientific Library by MLA + or the Exploratorium museum by Bernard Tschumi. For example, the science museum has a program focused on children and young adults, while the youth center offers extracurricular sports or music. The art gallery, on the other hand, combines an urban planning center in the basement and ground floor as well as contemporary exhibitions on the upper levels. Finally, the largest of the buildings acts as a "shopping center of the book", putting the reading in the spotlight, often forgotten in the cultural works.

A comprehensive project that effectively contributes to the revitalization business of Shenzhen.

To learn more, visit the Mecanoo site

Photographs: Zhang Chao

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