“Never forget where we started, no matter how far we go.”
At the vital historical moment when the Communist Party of China (CPC) embarked on the new journey toward its second centenary goal, the Red Education Base of the First Zhuji Congress of the CPC was smoothly completed on June 28, 2022. Jointly constructed by UAD, the Organization Department of Zhuji CPC Committee, Jiyang Sub-district Office, Zhuji Urban & Rural Investment Group, Zhancheng Group and Fengya Songyang Cultural Communication Group, the project express high respects and sincere blessings to the 101st anniversary of the founding of the CPC.
记忆之所A place of memory
Create immediate, vivid and “emotional” memories through perceptible scenes
Built in the Tianyou period (AD 904-907) at the end of Tang Dynasty, Water Dripping Buddhist Temple is located in a col in the south of Zhuji. It was named after a cliff in the temple that dripped water all year round. In September 1927, the First Zhuji Congress of the CPC was held in an old house on the east side of the cliff. On the occasion of the centenary of the CPC, a memorial building is constructed for this milestone in history. The project creates a new venue, where “red memories” coexist with the environment, building and people and the enduring revolutionary spirits are reborn in modern urban life.
How to narrate memories in a memorial venue? How the storytelling spaces evoke visitors’ perception and emotions?
Memory is a process in which discrete fragments are stored, retrieved and combined to emerge as a whole. Some disconnected but typical memory fragments, including the former dripping cliff at the Congress site, and the existing narrow red cliff, majestic mountains and yellow flowers on the plot, were extracted and incorporated into the design. Through combining those memory fragments and taking red stone aggregate walls as clues, the design team orderly organized a variety of spatial scenes on the narrow, linear plot. Connected by the storyline, a memorial place full of narrativity and literariness is created.
第一幕 再现 Scene 1 Recreation
Reinterpret the “dripping cliff” on the original Congress site
A winding footpath leads to the entrance of the education base. Schist slabs and miscanthus are utilized to heighten a revolutionary atmosphere. And right at the entry, a slanting red stone aggregate wall with a water curtain is built. Through connecting pre-buried components in the shallow water with 150 steel cables with a diameter of 3 mm, the design ensures that the water will not splash furiously nor produce excessive noise when falling from the top, hence forming a complete water curtain and maintaining a stable visual effect at the entrance.
The slanting wall combined with the water curtain is an abstract interpretation of the “dripping cliff”on the site of the First Zhuji Congress of the CPC, and it reproduces the historical memory related to the Congress venue. The impressive spatial scale along with the patter of water creates a storytelling and immersive scene, to let visitors experience the historical achievements and revolutionary spirits of the First Zhuji Congress of the CPC.
第二幕 铺叙 Scene 2 Unfolding
Unfolds the narratives at the tranquil front yard and foyer
The architecture tells stories by taking space as the medium. As the buffer area of the interior space, the front yard sets the tone for the building’s overall atmosphere. The design team organized a circulation route that guides visitors to walk through a footpath along the water curtain to reach the front yard composed of gravel, decorative stones, sculptures and waterscape, and then enter the foyer of the exhibition hall through a trail above the water.
Spaces in the front yard incorporate landscape elements that carry regional culture and historical symbolic significance, including some red rocks retained from the excavation of the site, to bring the visitors into a specific time period and space and evoke their emotional resonance. Moreover, the open water yard and stretching screen walls in the forecourt reveal the entrance of the exhibition hall. Different from the powerful slanting wall, the front yard impresses visitors with a tranquil and simple ambience.
第三幕 延展 Scene 3 Extension
Create a dialogue between interior and outside through shifting sight lines
The whole exhibition space of the building comprises three parts: foyer, exhibition corridor, and main exhibition hall. After entering the foyer through the front yard, visitors will step into a long, narrow ramped exhibition corridor along the red display walls, where they will get a restrained view and find the main exhibition hall at the end of the corridor. Platforms for enjoying terraced landscapes are set in between exhibition spaces, contrasting with the surrounding display spaces in terms of light and shade.
Connecting with the indoor exhibition hall, the introverted courtyard is a key node for the narratives of exhibition. The courtyard and the exhibition space provide indoor and outdoor views, to extend visitors’ sight lines. The design enriches the viewers’ visual experience by the skillful use of space and light. Whether they move forward or look back, the “red memories” run through the whole visiting route.
第四幕 引领 Scene 4 Guiding
Set a monument on the red rock at the mountain top
Since the location of the original monument was secluded and affected the circulation of cars going up the mountain to a certain extent, the design team decided to build a new one with a height of 19.27 meters on the southwest of the site, which is shaped like three progressively elevated red flags. The exposed red mountain rock on the site is preserved, so the new monument seems to grow from it, indicating the future vitality of the revolutionary spirits and becoming a spiritual core of the memorial venue.
The monument uses the same red stone aggregates as the main building body. It shows a sedate temperament consistent with the main building. The path connected with the monument is embedded in the bare red rock on the site, and its side walls are engraved with martyrs’ mottos, making it an open place for the public to pay tribute to those revolutionary martyrs and take oaths.
第五幕 回望 Scene 5 Looking back
Overlook the city and contemplate
Different from the exhibition visiting circulation, the return route allows visitors to overlook the city’s wonderful scenery through the outdoor exhibition corridor constructed with unplastered walls to calm their minds. As the ending of the architectural narratives, it leaves room for visitors to contemplate.
Various elements, such as openings on the walls, framed and borrowed views at the indoor and outdoor spaces, and symbolic metaphors, promote the overlap and interpenetration among various scenes, and between the building and the environment. Those connections or breaks may be able to inspire new thoughts.
源于纪念 归于日常From remembrance to daily life
Integrate into citizens’ daily life with an open gesture
The project’s site was formerly a place for local people to enjoy wonderful scenery and cool air.The design team hoped to construct a memorial building that integrates into the natural surroundings and continues serving the citizens as a public open place blending into their life.
To achieve that purpose, two tour routes were designed. When the exhibition hall is not opened, visitors can enter the front yard through the “dripping cliff” at the entrance and then reach the oath square and the monument along the outdoor exhibition corridor, throughout which barrier-free facilities are available. This open memorial place serves citizens’ activities like pledging, mountain climbing and sightseeing, red education, socializing, and relaxing, thus giving birth to “red spirits” and new collective memory rooted in this land and achieving the balance between memorial and social values.
The spatial narrative unfolds based on memories, which makes this memorial building a place for collecting, storing and displaying history. Through perceptible scenes and artistic narrations, it realizes the communication and education of “red spirits”. Moreover, taking a series of scenes as the medium, the project enhances the public’s perception of related history and endows it with new spiritual connotations.
项目信息 Project information
Project name: Red Education Base of the First Zhuji Congress of the CPC
Project location: Shinan Road, Zhuji, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province
Project category: memorial architecture
Project area: 989 square meters
Completion time: June 2022
Clients: Organization Department of Zhuji CPC Committee, JiyangSub-district Office, Zhuji Urban & Rural Investment Group
Design firm: The Architectural Design & Research Institute of Zhejiang University Co., Ltd. (UAD) (www.uad.com.cn)
EPC: Zhancheng Group
Exhibition design: Fengya Songyang Cultural Communication Group
Design leader: Mo Zhoujin
Engineering leader: Lv Miaohua
Architectural design: Qu Jie, Kan Xinyu, Su Renyi, Wu Hegen
Structural design: Jin Zhenfen, Zhang Li, Chen Dong
Water supply & drainage design: Sang Songbiao, Wu Weihao
Electrical design: Shen Yueqing, Li Zhaoyu
HVAC design: Guo Yinan, Shi Kaiyu
Smart design: Ma Jian, Zhang Wubo
Landscape design: Sun Dongming, Guo Shurui
Curtain wall design: Bai Qi’an, Yu Ping, Xi Rui
Decoration design: Lu Zhefeng, Wang Lijia, Zheng Yanyan
Lighting design: Pang Xiaoxiao, Lu Danyu, Zheng Long, Lv Jiaqi, Yu Zicheng, Xiao Shuzheng
Construction economics: Zhang Ying, Ruan Shihan
Photography: Zhao Qiang