C hinese architecture firm Original Design Studio have recently completed the Fan Zeng Art Gallery in Nantong, Jiangsu. The building will be used to exhibit, research, and collect the calligraphy, paintings, and poetry of master Fan Zeng (277-204 BCE).
The design of the gallery takes a modern look at the traditional Chinese courtyard, with an abstract revision of a Chinese roof. The large square structure with solid masonry walls contains three separate courtyards. The ‘Well Courtyard’ on the ground floor serves as a lobby, and continuing upstairs leads to the ‘water’ and ‘stone’ courtyards that span the length of the building.
These long spaces lead visitors to the surrounding pond, enclosed by a wall of thin parallel louvers. The final major courtyard is the ‘Encircled Courtyard’ at the top of the building, a traditional open-air courtyard.