No Name Art Museum / Atelier FCJZ
Text description provided by the architects. Since a collection of Wu Dayu’s work may not be displayed in this museum, the name Wu Dayu Art Museum has been discontinued. We use the No Name Art Museum only as a temporary measure. However, the design of this architectural piece was heavily inspired by him.
Wu Dayu. Wu Dayu (1903-1988) was a painter, educator and poet and considered the founding father of Chinese abstract painting. Born in Yixing, Jiangsu, he went to France in 1922 to study oil painting and sculpture. After returning to China, he established the National Academy of Art (now China Academy of Art) in Hangzhou together with Lin Fengmian and others and headed its Department of Western Painting. Wu lost his teaching position in the 1950s and painted in a ten square meter attic in his home until his passing.
Our architectural design was influenced by the art of Wu Dayu. His search for “Li” (strength) and “Ning” (serenity) in his small postcard-sized paintings prompted us to carefully contemplate the scale of architectural space. Wu’s poem, King Kongmore vividly portrays the dynamics and volatility of architectural experience:
The shadow plays tricks on the figure
Time laughs at space
Without a sound and without a trace
I go in and out of the darkness of time
time Wu’s poem inspired us to explore the temporal dimension of architecture. Can time be designed? Borrowing the book of the French philosopher Francios Jullien On time for theoretical guidance, we compared the era of China and Europe. Classical Western time: The observer is timeless; time and space are separate; time is uniform, divisible, unidirectional, with a beginning and an end. Past and future are clearly defined but not present. This is the target moment. Traditional Chinese time: the observer is inside time; time and space cannot be separated; time varies, is continuous and approaches, without beginning or end. This time is always present and can be called the time of the subject. The elasticity of Chinese weather offers design possibilities.
The case of the bridge with nine bends: if you can cross a body of water with 3 steps, with a bridge with nine bends, you can make 27 steps, which means that the time is 9 times longer, so the ‘space feels much bigger. We combined the Chinese era and the Western perspective and designed wedge-shaped spaces, including one programmed and one pure: these spaces are stretched by perspective in one direction and compressed in the other; thus, the temporal-spatial perception changes with each movement of the visitor. It demonstrates the immeasurableness of time and space and enriches the experience to the point where one can get lost and embark on a journey of discovery. The Wu Dayu Art Museum is a playground of space and time.
Space. The essence of an art museum is to offer a you or wandering experience. The spatial relationship naturally becomes the main focus of the design. Therefore, in addition to the manipulation of perspective, we introduced the concept of “pure architectural space”: a series of outdoor or semi-outdoor spaces that serve as a transition between programs. They are configured to possess dramatic tensions, intensifying temporal and spatial dynamics during the process of a journey through architecture. The general spatial structure of this building complex is organized into Yuan (courtyards) and Jin (layers), generating a dialogue with Chinese architectural traditions and superimposing another layer of experience on the game of perspective.
form Paying attention to time-space experiences allows us to break with static compositions, which means that the formal relationship between stereoscopic volumes and planar elevations dissolves. Here, the work of a Swedish architect, Sigurd Lewerentz, provided us with great inspiration.
structure The structural system of this project is partly beamless concrete slabs with irregularly shaped columns without beams and columns, and partly steel frames.
Regional culture + Material. In addition to the space, we also pay tribute to the vernacular houses of Wuzhen, which is part of Jiangnan (south of the Yangtze River), in our design in terms of material and color. Therefore, the use of clay tiles on the ceilings and concrete tiles on the walls, as well as the exposure of concrete walls, constitute a rich and subtle color combination of black-white-grey. At this point, the construction of the landscape and interior of this building remains incomplete.