This project locates at the entrance of Qingyun Valley tourist area. The commission demands an environmental friendly and iconic building containing reception space, a gift shop, a restaurant, restrooms, and an outdoor theater.
In recent years, the most common model of tourist centers in China is a large building on a large, empty square, which leads to long and boring walking experience, and makes a huge impact on the natural environment.
Instead of the “large building large square” model, we move the site to the pond and brake the programs into a cluster of small volumes “floating” on a large horizontal slab, which is elevated from the water by slanted stainless-steel columns. Then, the volumes “float” upward or “sink” down according to the degrees of openness of their programs.
The result is not only an abstract articulation of the context of local villages in the mountain area, but also a great illustration of the artistic mood in traditional Chinese literati culture.

Project Innovation
After leaving the road and parking, visitors will walk through woods via a wandering path, and then reach the water pond. The view is suddenly open, with a few white houses floating above the water. The scene looks like a classic moment in an ancient painting, yet it is ultimately modern and contemporary, inviting for exploration.
This is the experience we created for the visitors, which reflects our understanding of the mood of ancient Chinese intellects.

Rejected by the town, the previous design from another team is a single large volume building sitting on a square made by reclamation in the valley, requiring large amount of earthwork. The new design avoids heavy works of land reform and creates a sense of lightness.


Lifted from the water shore by steel poles, the small complex only touches the ground with very limited area, making as smaller impact to the natural environment as possible. The bodies of the volumes will be assembled by prefabricated, semi-translucent boards, significantly reducing construction time and energy.

Xiaomeng Xu

Qingyun Valley Visitor Center by Xiaomeng Xu in China won the WA Award Cycle 39. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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