Enter the Curated Mansion of Chengdu Dayuan and the world behind melts away instantly. This temple of calm reflection and Zen-like experiences is the antithesis of the encounter expected from an information centre and marketing suite. Built in 2019 to welcome potential inhabitants of and visitors to the new Dayuan mixed-use development on the south side of the city, and destined to become its next new major urban node, its vision takes inspiration from the readings of Chinese landscape paintings.
A series of unfurling stories emerge when setting foot inside. Like an unrolling canvas— where each vignette of the painting is narrated and viewed in sequence, allowing the artist’s brushstrokes and poetic inscriptions to be contemplated and absorbed—the interior spaces of the Curated Mansion take time to reveal themselves.
The intention is to change gear, an act of deceleration to enable visitors to experience each composition, consciously providing focus and attention in order to discover the spatial sequences and their content at a much less hurried pace. Interconnected volumes take time to appreciate rather than arresting the visitor abruptly. There is little to distract either—the absence of flashing monitors, mountains of literature and gushing sales staff, present an audible sigh of relief to the visitor.
Arguably a milestone, especially in light of the building’s temporary function, the architect persuaded the client to consider sustainability values and future proof the building to secure its use well beyond the present. The structure’s resilient framework has an inherent ability to adapt to a diverse span of programmes—from community social hub or entertainment suite, to gallery and event space.