Located in one of the most densely populated areas of downtown Shenzhen, the Public Art Plaza is a program initiated by both the city administrator and the architect. Under the program, this once shabby parking lot will be converted into a semi-underground parking garage integrated with arts programs such as outdoor display area, gallery, bookshop, cafe, artist studio, and lecture hall.
The whole complex is composed of an elongated gallery along the north border of the site, a sloped parking garage in the east, a series of walls and shallow ponds defining the west edge of the plaza, and a glassy box gallery at the southwest corner. Reinforced concrete is used throughout the project to form continuously floating and folding surfaces to shape both the indoor galleries and outdoor display area, and to frame the views of the surrounding city fragments.
Sculpted deeply into the ground, the building stretches horizontally to the outermost corners of the site. The flat surface of the site is remolded, folded, fractured, and warped to create new urban geography. The whole plaza is divided into different geographic zones, like hillside, stream, dry land and green slopes in response to the built geometry and the designated specific events. The design tries to blur the boundary of contrasting elements, such as building and plaza, indoor and outdoor, roof and ground, etc.
This project will provide an open public forum for both artists and the general public. The artificial landscape with maximum flexibility helps to define different zones for specific events. It also encourages artists to design site specific sculptures and installations.