In the past few decades, China’s urbanization has developed rapidly. In this process, many old buildings have not been protected and used, and they are facing demolition and idleness. However, the old buildings themselves have high cultural value, and they also carry the memories of a generation. They should not be dismantled arbitrarily or simply protected without being used. The old buildings should be closely linked with the city, and play their historical and cultural roles in the city.
Through the renovation of an old theater in Shenyang, China, this project explores the relationship between old buildings and the new city, the relationship between the new and the old, the relationship between the community and the city, and the relationship between the building and the square based on the expression of memories. At the same time, research on building materials was also made in the expression of architecture.
Perhaps no other country has seen such radical upheavals of their urban environments as China. This project investigates how to draw from the past in order to create urban places that honour their past, both in form and memory. Taking an area that has been reduced to roads and parking lots with temporary buildings dotting the landscape, the design takes an old theatre building and uses this as a catalyst to revive the entire sector through a careful design of the surrounding streets and buildings. Without resorting to nostalgia, the project redefines the programming of the old building and supports this with supporting facilities focused on urban placemaking.- Adj. Assoc. Prof. Hans Brouwer