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Culture Centre, Kunming, China

Part 1 Project 2008
Kieran Conway
University of Huddersfield, UK



The site is located in a modern vernacular area of Kunming with a lack of green space, in close proximity the busy city centre. The site is isolated from the commercial ‘line of life’ of the city, and is commonly overlooked. To overcome this I opened up the isolated square to social space directly north, reconnecting it to the city. To further encourage usage, the Culture Centre is subterranean with the aim of creating a contemporary green space at ground level for locals to use for social events and tai-chi. The interior of the building then links to the surface through light-wells and openings inspired by traditional chinese courtyards, connecting the inside to out. Additionally, the main ramp feature gives access to both levels, and continues the ‘line of life’ and strong north-south axis of the city through into the building.

Kieran Conway

The project is a bold contemporary vision of the formation of urban space in China. Kunming is a rapidly developing city with all of the ifrastructural and fragmentation issues that that entails. The challenge for students in this loctaion was to try to understand and respond to contaxtual influences in the broadest possible way.
The cultural centre here is seen as a fresh interpretation of physical, climatic, traditional and aspirational needs. It offers a series of urban events that at once stitch together a disharmonious urban area and makes real connections, through a deep understanding of cultural behaviours, between shared memories and the dynamics of change. The aim of the design is to create an urban park that is genuinely alive and will assume its place in the urban cultural landscape of the new Kunming. It is a valid and successful proposition.

Mr David Brindley
Mr Carl Meddings

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