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Cultural Heritage Centre, Mu Shan, China

Part 1 Project 2013
Waqar Hussain
University of Huddersfield | UK
The core concept behind the design of the proposed Cultural Heritage Centre in Mou-Shan Village is to encapsulate and preserve elements of the dying culture and traditions of the Yi people. One of the famous characteristics of the Yi tribe is dancing and singing in unison, with the same clothing creating a strong harmony. Regrettably, Yi culture is fading decade by decade and modern ways of life are taking over, therefore villages in Yunnan China are becoming universal without meaning or soul. The ideas behind the buildings are to revive and preserve the Yi culture through adding narratives within the building design.

The proposed building will be providing a place for people to gather, learn the dance and singing of the Yi culture and give visitors an understanding of the Yi ethnicity, history of the tribe and ways of life. The building will integrate the local handcrafting skills and materials such as bamboo, mud brick and natural stone. The building will house a library to accommodate historical artefacts, documents and examples of the rich lavish embroidery, which is connected directly to the Yi dance traditions. It will also provide a space for dance and singing, additionally it will provide accommodation for around 40 people.

The form and arrangement of the Cultural Heritage Centre building is intended to create rhythm and repetition, which correlates to the patterns used by the Yi tribe through their work, performances and dress; the Yi tribe members traditionally dress the same. The fabric of the buildings shows the importance of handcrafting within the Yi tribe and reflects the lavish clothing they wear, which is represented by the colourful bamboo rain screen. The building is made from locally sourced materials. The building will bring a positive impact on the local economy bringing much needed financial boost to the local economy along with a sense of ownership. This will make the centre more sustainable in the long term. Ultimately, this project is intended to preserve for the future generations some elements of the Yi tribe and something for them to be proud of!

Waqar Hussain


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