Chongkeng Primary School
- Wang Weijen Architecture
- 1-5 Stories
A school started with a man under a tree-- the metaphor from Louis Kahn enlightened this architect to approach the design of this project in a phenom- enological way. Borrowing from the theory of Guo Xi, an eleventh-century landscape painter/scholar who expounded on four modes of engaging with a landscape—traveling through, gazing at, roaming, and dwelling, this design reinterprets the spatial experiences created in traditional Chinese garden design, exploring and reinventing new possibilities of space, time and narration.
After the devastating earthquake, the campus was left only with ruins and four large banyan trees anchored at the four corners of an open yard. The de- sign of this new school intends to reestablish new relationships with each of the four trees, creating four narrative spaces, or four different situations of architecture, movement and tree. The viewer wandering through the water courtyard (classrooms) sees the first tree as a series of framed objects that change views with his movement; the second tree is surrounded by a semicircle building (special classroom and amphitheater) for the viewer to gaze at: the third tree is enclosed, or embraced by the building (library) as a tree house for the viewer to dwell in; the fourth tree is left open, or empty, in the yard so the design would extend to nature and infinity.