Yuanhou Town, Guizhou Province, China
Haobo Wei and Jingsong Xie of West-line Studio have designed the Danxia World Natural Heritage Gateway, a visitor center whose design is responsive to the local nature, most of the materials used come from river flooding, and the use of the local Danxia red stone embeds it completely into the surroundings.
Danxia World Natural Heritage Gateway has recently been awarded a 2022 International Architecture Awards Honorable Mention by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The base is located in the V-shaped canyon area at the entrance of the scenic spot, which is focused and bundled.
On the north side are turbulent streams and bright red cliffs, and on the east side is an arch-shaped cave door covered by trees at the focal point of the site.
The cave door faces west, and crossing the entrance of the cave is a magnificent Danxia landscape.
The local people have the custom of worshiping Buddha facing the red cliff.
People regard the rainbow as the light of Buddha.
The building design is sensitive to the characteristics of the landscape and the local red stone makes it completely embedded into the surroundings: the base slope is treated as a continuous step group.
The corridors and building planes on both sides are interlaced with different elevations and steps, which are paved with Danxia stone collected and cut locally.
Going up the stairs, there is a group of parallel steps that enter the entrance of the cave, which constitutes a red square with a strong visual impact and sense of ritual.
An arch-shaped portal separates paths like a stream, while the winding corridor responds to the dynamics of the stream, and under the hill-shaped falling roof of the building on the right are seven groups of stone boxes that are also rainwater collection systems and light capture systems.
Around the stone, there is a flexible recreational space corresponding to the natural water courtyard, light courtyard, and tree courtyard.
The stone piers and pillars supporting the system give it the association with the Danxia Stone Forest in the scenic area.
This project is located at the base of a mountain, from which originates a river.
When torrential floods erupt, various sizes of Danxia stones are transported downstream by the river and collected by workers.
Danxia stones are sandstones characterized by high porosity and are extremely easy to cut.
For this project, stones have been cut into four different sizes, according to their functions.
Large blocks of sandstone are easy to transport after cutting in the field and can be divided into large, medium, and gravel.
Stone is processed to adapt to different construction uses.
Stone used for supporting system masonry is cut to brick size, and its high porosity property is suitable for local traditional mortar masonry operation.
Project: Danxia World Natural Heritage Gateway
Architects: West-line studio
Lead Architects: Haobo Wei and Jingsong Xie
General Contractor: Chishui Construction and Installation Engineering Co.
Client: Chishui City Tourism Development Investment Co.
Photographers: Haobo Wei and Jingsong Xie