Poetry Architecture

About

Name: Red Brick Ceremonial Hall Building
Location: Lizigou Village, China
Type: cultural building
Size: 3749.4m²
Completed: 2019
Materials: red brick, concrete
Project Team: Xiaoxing Zhang, Erxun Lai, Xinpeng Liu, Xingtong Shi

By the Beijing based architects Key Wang (KEYWORKS) + Rengran Zhang (RENGARCH) 

Together they designed a poetic Ceremonial Hall Building combined with a living space in the rural countryside near Luoyang in Central China. A wall of red brick meanders through the landscape and leads the visitors to an ensemble of buildings and public spaces, which celebrate the genius loci of the area. The project’s public programme consists of a ceremonial hall, spaces for reflection, cooking, reading, meditation and creating to shape a new meeting place for visitors and villagers alike.

Located in Henan province (Central China), in the rural countryside of Luoyang city, Lizigou Red Brick Ceremonial Hall is built in between hillsides, farmland and water reservoirs. Meandering like a ribbon, a red brick wall leads the visitor from the street to a round corner building which marks the entrance to a triangular square lined with straight walls that opens towards the south in a representative gesture. Spanning between them is the main entrance area to welcome visitors as well as space for parking.

Red Brick Ceremonial Hall Building

The visitors approach the ceremonial hall building through a corridor enclosed by arches. The arch as a formal element, was chosen to represent the numerous old caves found in the surrounding domestic landscape – a link to the local culture. 

The corridor leads to a yard formed by the ensemble of three buildings: corridor, office and ceremonial hall. The buildings, single walls and roofs are placed to create framed views within the yard. Each view was chosen carefully by the architects – Key and Rengran – to make the visit a sensual experience. Inside – Outside, Nature, Light and Shadow and a link to culture were the key questions during the design process. 
The office building is situated on the north side in the yard. The facade is strictly enclosed towards the street and opens up to the visitors with a row of columns. 

Different to the office building, the semi circular shaped ceremonial hall is a enclosed space with a totally open roof and an opening in the wall. While the opening frames the surrounding nature, the beam structure of the roof creates a play of shadow and light. The beams remind one of a solar clockwork and shall intensify the visitors perception of time. The arrangement of a long bench in the center of the hall and the opening mark the main view of this landscape, like a framed live painting.

Facility building

The facility building is located south of the site. The long rectangular building with rounded corners and 12 arches as a prominent facade element that open towards the view offers spaces for cooking, dining, tea ceremonies, library, exhibitions, calligraphy, meditation, sleeping and storage space. 

Material 

Red brick is a material traditionally used locally in area. The architects not only chose it for its availability in the area but for its quality to emphasize the handcrafted nature of the build process and the introduction of the human scale. Hand glazed porcelain bricks with poems highlight the wall.

Geometry 

Basic shapes: circles, semi-circles and rectangles are used to compose external and internal spaces with a dualizing composition in analogy to the concept of Ying-Yang.

Local women
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Key Wang
Architect

Rengran Zhang
Architect

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