3rd Year Studio Solo Work, Tianjin University, Autumn 2014
Advisor: Zhang Xin Nan, Wang Xuan
Site: Tianjin, China
The project is a response to Paul Gauguin’s life experience. The ground floor is permeated by four light towers. Visitors penetrate into these light towers on the roof level and thus get a different aspect of view of all the exhibition.
The venue is located nearby the Tianjin Art Academy. An entrepreneur with a large collection wish to build a small art gallery of Paul Gauguin. So, the Architectural language, style and the space circumstances should match the art style of Paul Gauguin and that will help the visitors easily understand the art works of Paul Gauguin.
In this project the priority is to decode the great artist of Paul Gauguin instead of the venue. For Paul Gauguin, the evolution of his art styles in different periods cannot be ignored, from early impressionism to transition period and the primitivism at last. The Art style evolution initiated from his experiences on Tahiti island. He had travelled Tahiti couple of times and he was fascinated by the fancy-free life on that island which is quite alien to the urban life. And the liberty of life influenced his thoughts just like a poison that changed the art style of his work.
Therefore, I would like to reveal the transition of Paul Gauguin’ art style and life journey through my architectural design. In my design, the lights will come from the roof with different patterns of impressions and an imitation of the geographic location of Tahiti island is specifically designed. Through an inverted cone shaped roof the lights pour into the indoor space becomes a strong visual symbol, by manipulating the light bar, the different art styles of his early to late art life can be interpreted in this design.
To achieve the goal, I have done my research on art characters of Paul Gauguin’s work in his different art periods to find out the key words and concepts. In his impressionism period the main concepts are: clarity, dim and homogenised. To correspond this concepts, I designed glass of inverted cone shape hanging on the roof of this part of gallery. In his transitional period his art style turns more heavy and free on colours, and there is a trend of his art evolution to reckless and untrammelled in style. To correspond this concepts, I designed concrete tube of inverted cone shape which light can comes through the tube. In his third period, which is the period he spent on the Tahiti island, the concrete tube of inverted cone shape will have a larger size, some part may even touch the ground of the gallery. And in this period, Paul Gauguin decided to give up his class, family and everything to the island alone. The visitors can go to the roof directly from this room, to experience the symbol of the island, the imitation of its geographic location. Passed the roof, there is another opportunity to pass the other parts of this gallery. The light will stab into inverted cone, when visitors get in to the 8 metres’ height space, they will experience a bright, independent emotion just like o that pacific island. Meanwhile looking down they can see those art works they had passed by, that will give them a different impression, and further understandings of the Paul Gauguin’ s art journey will be established.
In this design, the light from the roof symbolized the spirit of primitivism from the island which consumed the spiritual world of artist that pushed his style evolution of art. Finally, to get to the fourth part of the gallery, the space here is mostly occupied by an inverted cone. Sufficient light pour into the space, and the tube is only one person’s height to the ground, along with a rough surface of the tube the flow water dripped into an indoor pool with on sharp edges. The most important art work “Where are we from? Who are we? Where we go?” (141×377cm) stand on an enterable area at the pool centre.
Here below are the key factors of this design. Firstly, the space corruption of light from the roof represent the temptation and influence to Paul Gauguin’ s spiritual world; Secondly, analyzation of venue. Such a huge gallery in 10 meters’ height is not suitable the surrounding street, due to our research, 7 metre in height could be a perfect height to fit the other buildings. Therefore, I sunk the building for 3 steps in depth, the sunk steps will become the necessary route to visit gallery that will provide visitor a transition process by calming their emotions; Thirdly, the space typology of gallery. And I’d like to describe the Gauguin’ s art style of each period in two adjectives. To correspond with four gallery parts, four types of inverted cone are design in different angle，tube openness, heights and materials, to match the art styles of Gauguin, and nearly a hundred space typology had been discussed. Fourthly, the space organization. Here I implement the concept of second passing by first make visitor pass the gallery on the ground follow the visiting route, and finally get into the light tube to look down the art work for again for new understanding about art. And I made the space typology of second passing strategy some adjustment due to the situation of the venue. The original visiting route changed along with the move of rooms of the gallery. These jagged changes and compromise had created some small plazas and crevice. The plazas corresponded to more surrounding axis and space that forged a larger plaza and created a better public space.
Fifthly, the influence to public. From the ground to the mid-air, I designed a up forward ‘deck’ to guide people on the street to a public visiting and lecture area. Standing at the end of the ‘deck’ there are galleries in front of visitors, some seminar or lectures will regularly take place. By the way, the visiting route fully accessed to the ‘deck’, the public can enter the gallery from outside public space, that will be good propaganda by satisfy the curiosity of people. Below the ‘deck’ a café and other leisure space can provide to public free.