Boundless Theater of Egret Bay

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
aerial view. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

BOUNDLESS THEATER OF EGRET BAY

Beijing Guanzhuan Landscape Planning And Design Institution

PHOTOGRAPHS
Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio, Xiangwei Kong & Li Wang

CLIENT
Shandong Egret Museum Town

LEAD DESIGNER
Xiangwei Kong

CATAGORY
Installations & Structures

AREA
500 m²

YEAR
2022

Egret Bay art museum is located in Rizhao, Shandong Province. It is located at the east foot of Wulian mountain, a famous Buddhist mountain.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
aerial view. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio
Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
theater for children. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

Mr. Su Dongpo visited the mountain many times during the reign of the governor of Mizhou, and left a good sentence of "its beauty does not reduce the wild geese".

The construction concept of the town is to "reshape the relationship between man and nature". On a land area of 10000 mu, it combines the aesthetic space with the natural landscape and various business forms.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
view from west. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio
Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
west side. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

After more than ten years of construction, it seems to be an ideal place for people to live. In the early spring of this year, Mr. Xu qunde, the founder of egret Bay, went on an outing with me.

I talked to him about a building I had built before. There was a process photo. In the picture, there was a woven curved steel mesh floating lightly in the woods hidden by mist.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
installation. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio
Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
dawn. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

Seeing this picture, Mr. Xu immediately said that there was a place in egret bay where one could be woven, which was located in the cherry blossom Valley mentioned above. Mr. Xu wants to build a building in the center of Cherry Valley as a place for music, dance, drama, and other artistic activities.

He described to me that his ideal state is "nature is the best", the cherry tree is the main body, and the architecture is hidden in it. The two form a perfect relationship.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
view from the installation. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

As I understand it, this building is like a small thatched canopy hidden in deep mountains and lakes in Chinese landscape painting, facing the landscape with an elegant attitude, and taking nature as the soul.

We also agreed that the steel mesh in the picture should evolve into a permanent building. People can not only swim but also watch the blooming cherry blossoms through the mesh gap.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
curved shape. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio
Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
curved shape. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

However, everything is vague and unknown. What kind of architecture will be produced in a randomly planted cherry forest? In my imagination, the theater should be a streamlined body, a surrounding space, in which people can shuttle freely.

I imagine that when cherry blossoms are blooming all over the sky, heaven and earth, cherry trees, the theater will accommodate me, cherry trees are the main, the theater is the second, and I am the free element in this scene.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
shadow. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio
Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
details. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

For example, in the picture of residence in Fuchun mountain, the mountains and forests are extended, the residence is secluded, and the little characters are free spots. This is my favorite poetic picture.

On the west side of the stage, there is a huge stone, which looks like a huge stone bed. At one end of the stone, there is a large cherry tree, which stretches like the Feng Shui tree at the head of each village in the old days.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
installation interior view. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio
Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
space between cherry trees. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

Often, the wife is waiting for the husband who works in the field, and the mother is waiting for the return of the wanderer. In the wind of summer night, it is a pleasant place for the elderly and children in the village.

This picture has not been seen for a long time today. I compare this tree to the Feng Shui tree at the head of the village, weaving a circular shed space.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
west night view. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio
Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
cherry tree and installation. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

The round diameter of the ground is based on the boulder, and the height of the top is limited to the cherry branch.

After completion, a pink cherry falls to the dome, leaving a hole in the direction facing the southern mountain forest for you to come.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
west night view. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

The eastern part of the stage connects the entrance in the other direction and evolves into a changing corridor between four cherry trees. There are two main cherry trees opposite the main stage.

Taking the tree as the axis, they form two fans, which are very similar to the wings of birds. The west of the site is the main entrance. As a corresponding, a semicircular dome was carefully woven in the east of the site.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
west side. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

After five days, three workers demolished it three times and finally completed it. The dome is independent and beautiful.

However, looking at the whole site, it seems too crowded, so Luo Dan cut his hand and reluctantly demolished it.After the demolition, it was decided to make a streamlined and decent to connect the north main stage and the south wing stage.

It should be a standing curved wall, but the structure is very difficult because, from the beginning, it was decided that all the steel bars are curved, and one end grows from the ground and the other end enters the ground.

It can not rely on a vertical support, so there is no straight line in the whole building. Therefore, a steel bar is twisted in the opposite direction on both sides to make it stand up.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
construction process. Image © Xiangwei Kong & Li Wang
Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
aerial view. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio

The shaping of shape and the organization of lines should first follow the stability of the structure, followed by the characteristics of steel bars.All steel bars are bent manually by craftsmen without any mechanical bending.

The curved wall is low and the connecting surface is long, so two different shapes are adopted. The coordination of structure and form is quite brain-burning.The weft is better to be less. It should play a role in tying the stability of the structure or interweaving with the warp into a diamond pattern, or a free and soothing wavy line.

Using steel bars as the only material and weaving them into buildings by hand in three-dimensional space has high technical difficulty. The method I adopt is to make the warp first, that is, the upper and lower lines, the spacing or equal distribution of the warp, or close arrangement or gradual change, and then make the weft after the warp is completed.

Thirdly, follow the guidance and overall planning of beauty, and try to make the trend of each line beautiful and the shape woven is also beautiful.

Boundless Theater of Egret Bay
aerial view. Image © Zhiyi-jianzhu New Media Studio