Grand Opening of Kwan-Yen People's Station
／ Jul 30th, 2017
Built from modular prefabricated components and a variety of industrial raw materials, the Kwan-Yen People’s Station is by far the largest
The People’s Station is a cultural center designed to reinvigorate the sleepy historic center of Yantai. Situated at the edge of the business district the entire building is lifted up to invite visitors into its interior where they will find exhibitions, a reading room, and views of the ocean. Over the past weeks, residents have flocked to this destination, earning it the nickname “Yantai’s Living Room.”
The People’s Station is located in the Kwan-Yen Arts District, aiming to activate the historic district and act as a public platform for conversations about modern city life. This area, bounded by Kwan-Yen Road, contains dozens of preserved Western-style buildings, once rented to deluxe clubs, restaurants and bars. The citizens who came to enjoy themselves by the seaside tended to maintain a distance from these venues. Now, the People's Station not only adds to the richness of the local scenery but welcomes the diverse lot of people who pass through the area. Due to the presence of this new building, its surroundings have become more integrated and diverse; both the public impression and the function of this area have changed.
One of the most interesting features of this remarkable building is that each component that attaches to the main building hub can be readily deployed and distributed throughout the local area.
Individual visitors can easily detach, reattach, or ride the People's Canopy around the Kwan-Yen People’s Station. Earlier in the United Kingdom, Belgium and other domestic cities, large-scale gatherings have also been held under these installations. The People’s Canopy, which is mounted on top of a number of wheels that visitors can ride together to move around shades the outdoor public event space. This group activity is a public event in itself.
The three independent tricycle spaces also developed by People’s Architecture Office, including a mobile reading room with bookshelves, a bar, and an information kiosk. Each tricycle space contains a canopy that can expand and autonomously connect to the other one, creating a kind of corridor.
When these tricycles detach completely from the People’s Station and ride to inner-city areas, they become the new “hub”, as opposed to anattached wing of the main facility. In this role, they take on a new responsibility as recreational and cultural ambassadors in remote areas of the city.
The exhibition currently on display is anoverview of the past 7 years of People’s Architecture Office’s design work, called “Mass Interventions”. The exhibit opening coincided with the opening of the building itself.
Using a large number of models, pictures, videos, etc., the exhibition details the socially-conscious designs of the the firm, largely focusing on their “plugin” homes, their mobile units, and their architectural and interior design.
In fact, the building itself is a kind of culmination of many of their works to date, featuring designs and technology they developed over the past few years including the tubular exhibition system, their golden bubbles, the tricycle house, and more.
Various lectures were held to discuss the opening of the cultural forum. Speakers included curator Ole Bouman, director of the Shekou Design Museum, and Jeffrey Johnson, Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Design, as well as Ou Ning, visiting guest at Columbia Graduate School of Arhcitecture, Planning, and Preservation, and Advisor of the Kwan-Yen Project.
After a successful opening, we look forward to what else this “new drawing room” may bring in Yantai. With its capability to foster a diverse range of activities, we hope that it emerges as a participant in the broader cultural and social lives of the people of Yantai and forges a stronger link between its urban communities.