The Beijing-based architecture firm AOE has produced fine work with this first art center specializing in Sino-Italian cultural exchanges, in content and in form. The objective of this building, located near the city of Chengdu, is to present the respective Chinese and Italian cultures, and thus create an intersection between East and West. The general concept is inspired by the “Ruyi,” used since ancient China as an auspicious gift to foreign ambassadors to signify the conclusion of friendly relations and peace between the two countries.
The Italian pavilion draws on the arches and domes of Roman antiquity and the iconic Italian piazza with its fountains and amphitheaters. The harmony between architecture and nature lies in the use of natural resources and the protection of the environment. The omnipresence of white illuminates the circular and semicircular building, forming a multipurpose space dedicated to the different sections (exhibitions, meetings, reception, catering). The large windows connect the interior and exterior, allowing the lush landscape to be fully integrated.
And nearby is the Chinese Cultural Hall, hidden in a forest of bamboo. Two paths, one of which is made of white Chinese jade over a pond, connect the two buildings, symbolizing the two silk roads between East and West, on land and on water.