a desolate cooling tower searching for the meaning of life opens its heart to everybody who wants to be a part of the journey.
“The spirit of humankind is old within China”- and the spirit of the wise, smart, and childlike humanity of the fairytales, as if getting prepared to dream, in this spiraling endless “porcelain pillow” eventually guiding us to the clouds.
A NEW TRADITION
digital art of storytelling ancient tales and fables
With a legendary history and a distinctive culture, China offers remarkable scenery and unforgettable memories. Brave city Tangshan, leaning against the serene Yanshan mountains and facing the Bohai Sea, a big hero of China’s modern industry, once has fallen hard unexpectedly, however, reincarnated stronger and more powerful to fulfill the art of living, the well-being of its residents in mind now more than ever, transforming from an industrial city and shading off into a place for the good of people, putting Tangshan back into maps of local and global tourism. Re-programming “cooling tower” as a part of the industrial legacy, and converting into this “adventurous and heroic space”, the vision is to create a place that celebrates the city’s cultural and industrial heritage, and at the same time activate urban life as a strong local attraction point for tourists and residents to enjoy this new tradition, blended with the new technologies of recycling and storytelling. The spirit of the monolithic and monumental tower is recognized as the “lighthouse” of Douhe River, which literally lightens up the night as well as the minds of people, simply leading to the knowledge of life. “The spirit of humankind is old within China”- and the spirit of the wise, smart, and childlike humanity of the fairytales are presented, as if getting prepared to dream, in this spiraling endless “porcelain pillow” eventually guiding to the clouds, the “story space” explores new playful narratives and technology of storytelling and transmitting the ancient journeys of the legendary heroes and their lives, connecting new generations into its engaging plot and letting the story continue forevermore.
In Chinese landscape and the imagination of the landscape, full of symbols and allegories in every bit of spaces, “pagodas” are dominant and attractive elements of the culture, towering, multi-tiered mysterious structures, initially built to house ancient scripts and scrolls, sparked a light to manipulate the void of the cooling tower with the eversion of the typical pagoda section, turning the outer concave roof frame into a relatively dark walkable space and the convex inner enclosed space into
a void of light, creating an oxymoron, continuous and dramatic exhibition space where ancient paintings and accompanied stories scrolled around to connect with the users and also bond a new, interesting, unexplored relation with others, relating to alternative practices of space, time, material and technology intertwined with traditional and modern storytelling.
how can we reconstruct a desolate cooling tower, a solid monument of industrialization, as an integral element of a unique symbol of the recent history and collective memory of the city and the culture, forming a foundation of a "new tradition", blending past and future into one?
The helix circulation ramp rising around and shaping a symbolic funnel of light, slimmer at the end of the tower and wider to the ground floor as if cut from a single piece of paper and unfolded, generates a continuous and linear spiral display revolving around the existing interior facade, turning it into a screen weaved with magic light embedded with various ancient and modern stories from the culture and the history
of many many ages. the pagoda-shaped void of the helix illuminates natural daylight inside with the help of a convex mirror ceiling at the end of the tower, reflecting daylight and directing dramatically to the lower floors with its natural geometry and glazed finishing. also, the mirror pool on the ground floor turns the system into an “infinite mirror” and mesmerizes with the effects of light and shadow entangled into each other, enhancing the feeling of walking literally into a fairytale.
a digital scroll interfaces along a helix circulation , narrating and animating visitors a multisensory journey through the ancient stories and fables with new ways of storytelling of today's hybrid world, offering a new kind of experience in space and time.