Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

 

After the demolition of their textile warehouse neighbour and suffering fire damage, architecture practice RoarcRenew breathed new life into a pair of 1950s/60s granaries that sit by the TaoCang Canal, transforming them into the TaoCang Art Centre.

“With good design, the architecture is endowed with a human soul,” said RoarcRenew. “Far away the landmark stands out on the ground; Deep within a holy spirit is hidden; In a low voice a past story is told… Wish you bloom like the summer lotus where prosperity and glory follow.”

TaoCang Art Centre is the architects’ affectionate letter to the district.

 

Related: TaiOursea Laomendong Spa in Nanjing, China by RoarcRenew.

 

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre Jiaxing China Roarcrenew Adaptive Reuse Yellowtrace 11aTaocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

 

TaoCang is part of Wangjiangjing Town that sits within Xiuzhou District of Jiaxing, known for their Chinese Modern Folk Paintings. The client, who specialises in solutions for rural tourism requested a transformation that would become a cultural landmark while paying respect to the history of the site. Wanting to avoid creating an icon-like monumental architecture, RoacRenew reimagined them as art galleries, with the west and east granaries now a commercial and art gallery respectfully.

Occupying an area of 2448 square metres, the former white striped and red brick granaries were held with a mansard portal-like frame with a unique arch. The architects, who practised through empathetic principles, made very little disturbances to the existing structure – external bricks were restored to their original colour, while internal walls and frames were repainted in white with extra framing to reinforce the structure.

 

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

 

The gallery spaces are completed with ebony floors that are decorated with a speckled lotus leaves and flowers mural – referencing the seasonal relationship villagers of Wangjiangjing Town have with the nearby locus pond. The shiny surface glistens like water against the gallery lights, reflecting the newly built semi-circle door with a framed pattern that resembles the veins of a lotus leaf. These doors can fold in half otherwise rotate fully for logistic purposes.

Slotted between the galleries is a pair of red brick extensions that introduces new main entrances and circulation to the gallery spaces. The tail-ends run parallel towards the granaries before curving upwards and forming dramatic towers towards the central point. The additions are elevated by an array of structural brick arches, forming a corridor which the architects hope to encase in glass. They house cafés and souvenir shops that will support the Art Centre’s functions.

 

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

Taocang Art Centre, Jiaxing China, RoarcRenew, Adaptive Reuse | Yellowtrace

 

The extension continues upward where washrooms and two private rooms are interconnected with a spiral staircase. The newly formed façade is detailed with bricks pushed outwards, forming ‘wheat-ear’ pattern that pays homage to former granaries. Additional playful brick elements are seen at the turning points of the extension – the bricks jut out like interlocking fingers, allowing rain to playfully trickle down the building.

While the extension was intended to strengthen the granaries, it represents the architects’ offering of “inner peace after 60 years of everchanging experience”. Given the surrounding areas have been rapidly developed, TaoCang Art Centre forms an anchor and a reminder of the past while looking forward to future developments. It’s emotional, evocative and optimistic.

 

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