© Bian Lin

CHI SHE

Archi Union Architects

Schangai, China

Archi Union Architects

© Bian Lin

2016

199 sqm

From the architects. Chi She is the name of a group of artists founded by Zhang Peili and Geng Jiangyi, characterized by their interest in realism. Their exhibition space in the West Bund Art Exhibition Area seeks to evoke an enigmatic spatial appeal, through the desire to harmonize and integrate the building with its surroundings, while at the same time offering a formal expression of the artistic mission of the works contained inside. The hope is that this building might provide a sensitive and generous art space, where various artistic events, such as exhibitions, creative workshops and informal communication can occur.

The existing exterior walls were retained, shored up and structurally reinforced as necessary, in order to achieve the maximum space possible. In order not to affect the space perception of this area, part of Chi She’s roof has been lifted up to give those inside an unobstructed view of the sky. The roofing structure has been replaced by a more efficient, lightweight tensioned timber structure, a section of which has been raised to bring in the light and connect those inside to the changing climate outside. Grey-green bricks were chosen to blend in with the existing structure and applied to the exterior surface to offer an interface with the courtyard. The entrance wall has been warped slightly, as a form of architectural expression that conveys current cultural trends based on tradition.

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