Dongsi Culture Centre – 77 Courtyard Renovation Project

Project: Dongsi Culture Centre – 77 Courtyard Renovation Project
Location: 77Courtyard, Dongsi Sitiao, Beijing 
Design Company: March Urban Art Centre
Producer: Jeffrey Zhang
Planning and Public Art: Dr. Jack Tian
Design Principle: Rik Zou,Liu Jing
Design team: He Xingang, Zhao Changxin, Fu Qiang, Qiu Liying  
Client: Capital Urbanization Group
Project Type: City Renovation
Site Area: 1023 sqm
Design Period: 2017.9-2017.12
Completion Date: 2018.10
Photographer: Jin Weiqi

Project Introduction

Dongsi Culture Centre, formerly know as Dongsi 77 Courtyard, is located in one of the 25 historical and cultural heritage areas in the old city centre of Beijing. It has been set up as the first historical and cultural region in China. In order to alleviate the non-core functions of capital, the project focuses on its historical context, protecting the ancient capital scenery and cultural assets. On the basis of effectively protecting the original city landscape and features, the project combines the renewal of regional business forms in environmental governance, community governance, space renovation and comprehensive transportation system to create a demonstration zone with comprehensive environmental management in Dongsi heritage area.

March Urban Art Centre is committed to transforming the space into a showcase with the spiritual and cultural features of the Dongsi Community, upgrading the original space into Dongsi Museum. The renovated museum space will serve as a space for cultural practice and experience. The design approach to the narrative makes the heritage story of time and space relevant to today’s visitors, by revealing the connective threads between the past, present and future. The renovation space will be appealing to diverse audience groups, shared experiences interweave with interpretation targeted specifically for children, adults, learning and engagement participants, community members, specialists and enthusiasts. The display techniques we suggest to interpret a listed building include: remaining sympathetic to the existing fabric through minimal interventions; creating a distinct legibility between old and new; finding non-destructive ways of attaching physical elements to the building; making reversible interventions; and most importantly, privileging non-intrusive interpretive techniques such as audiovisual presentations, projections and live performance. Meantime, space will carry the function of cultural popularization education, showing that Capital Urbanization Group attaches great importance to the social responsibility of cultivating and creating a good social and cultural environment for the next generation.

Public Art

Material:Stainless Steel
Size:12.7m L

An armillary sphere is a model of objects in the sky (on the celestial sphere), consisting of a spherical framework of rings, centred on Earth or the Sun, that represent lines of celestial longitude and latitude and other astronomically important features, such as the ecliptic. As such, it differs from a celestial globe, which is a smooth sphere whose principal purpose is to map the constellations.

Material:Stainless Steel
Size:0.8m R
The concept of spherical shape with 28 star images comes from the cognitive thinking mode of the universe of the ancient Chinese. The star images are most commonly used in 28 stars, occasionally referring to four images (or four-dimensional, four beasts) and three plains. Twenty-eight perches on the zodiac are usually divided into four large celestial regions. They are named "four symbols" by the name of animals. Each scenery contains seven perches:
Oriental Dragon (including Jiao, Kang, Di, Pang, Xin, Wei);
North basalt (including Dou, Niu, Nv, Xu, Wei, Shi);
Western white tigers (including Kui, Lou, Wei, Xie, Bi, Xie);
Southern Suzaku (including Jing, Gui, Liu, Xing, Zhang, Yi).

Profile of chief designers

Producer:Jeffrey Zhang

Jeffrey Zhang, founder of March Urban Art Centre,producer and curator. As a creative practitioner with a strong academic and practical background in both Eastern and Western design, Jeffrey is especially interested in cultural and heritage projects that encourage the exchange of ideas. His curiosity for narratives, built environment, visitor experience and innovation inform his practice. Since graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, he worked with the world leading art and culture institutions, and successfully curated and produced numerous ambitious projects and events, includes West End Cultural Quarter Cultural Trail, Living Heritage at the British Museum, The Sweet History of York with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, and Public space renovation project in China National Centre for the Performing Arts.

Planning and Public Art:Dr. Jack Tian

Director of March Urban Art Centre. He has long been committed to project planning, creative design and implementation of contemporary urban art at home and abroad, and put forward academic research concepts and directions such as “City Sculpture Acupuncture Planning Method” and “New Futuristic Public Art”. The representative projects include Beijing “Guofeng Jingxiang” "Reconstruction of siheyuan, Hangzhou Asian Sports Village Cultural Landmark and International Public Art Project, Wuhu Sculpture Park, etc., related works and articles published in many academic journals such as "Sculpture", "Chinese Sculpture", "College Sculpture".

Design Principle:Rik Zou

Rik has designed and delivered many well-known projects domestically and internationally. Project locations include mainland of China, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore and Japan. His sectors of expertise are in commercial interiors, including hospitality, retail mall and corporate headquarters.

His international projects experience has gained him not only the professional design skills but also the ability to deliver them into reality. Many of his projects have been published and gained industry recognition.