Fu-Gui Sanyi Art & Culture Gallery
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2012 Taiwan Architecture Awards Honorable Mention
Invitational Exhibition of 2012 Tectonic Becoming

Location: Miaoli, Taiwan
Design: September,2006–August.2011
Building: June,2009–Octorber,2011
Site Area: 2472.18㎡
Subtotal Area: 2351.13㎡
Concept, Design and Construction

The story of Fu-Guei Sanyi goes back more than ten years ago when Mr. Lin of Fu-Guei and Architect Chiang of the Banmu Tang Architects were in the beginning of their careers. Mr. Lin and Architect Chiang found each other to share many common interests in art and esthetic. Their first collaboration gave birth to Fu-Guei Art & Culture Gallery at Yingge. A decade later, they collaborated again to create Fu-Guei Sanyi – an architecture that transcends an art gallery into an artwork. Fu-Guei Sanyi is a creation of two matured artisans: one of space and the other of art.

“Treasure” is the key design concept, as well as the essence, of Fu-Guei Sanyi. We contemplated the possibilities of an art gallery on the mountain, in the mountain and of the mountain. The outcome is an architectural setting, in which the nature and the art are the subject of admirations. Fu-Guei Sanyi is a unification of landscape and architecture, where building takes the forms of frame and container to treasure the nature, the humanity, and the art.

The site has an elevation difference of six meters. Elevated above the tips of bamboo groves, a footbridge resolves the elevation differences on the site and provides opportunities to enjoy the scenery of mountains and nature. On two ends of the footbridge are two buildings of different ground levels. At the top level, where the footbridge is, there are the main entrance and the reception. This is the level that visitors arrive from the main street of Sanyi. The middle level holds the landscape garden of green bamboo groves and a pond, as well as the art gallery. The bottom level is for parking and services. The main building mass is placed underground to protect from northern cold wind, while surfaces of the building mass are covered with greenery and water. With these natural insulations, as well as large outdoor shades, the need for air-conditioning is greatly reduced.

At the entrance, a fair-faced concrete wall and a Taiwan red pine greet guests. The concrete wall leads guests, over a big rock and a reflecting pool, to a statue named “Ying Feng” – a bronze fairy enjoying the breezy wind with open arms and closed eyes. This is the place where nature, art and architecture converge: the bronze fairy staged by the architecture of a coarse black stone wall, groves of bamboos on both sides, and scenery of nature reflecting on the pool. This is the prelude of a wonder in Fu-Guei Sanyi.

Turning away from the bronze fairy, through the greenery and an exhibition space enclosed by concrete walls, guests are greeted with flamboyant flowers of a Royal Poinciana tree. By the tree, a footbridge, of 45 meters long, brings guests to a platform on a pool extending into, and reflecting, endless mountain ranges and changing clouds. Stunning and dramatic, guests usually stop here to contemplate and admire the scenery. Bearing off, the platform narrows and leads indoor to a stairway cased in dark steels and stones. A light from far end of the tunnel-like stairways hurries guests to past through.

Through the stairway tunnel, guests walk into an opening of abundant greenery. Fu-Guei Sanyi is a stone box insetted on the hillside. This is a box full of green gems – an enclosed landscape garden with a pond, bamboo groves, giant rocks and cascading waters. Wondering in the garden, each move brings new scenery. The main art gallery is behind a cast-iron gate decorated with lion heads. The heart of the space, also the reception counter of the gallery, is a giant log of African Coralwood. The log is held up, and contrasted, by a fair-faced concrete wall with a coarse and tempered texture of China Fir. Tucked at one corner of the garden is the Peony Art Restaurant; with dark interior settings, it showcases the surrounding landscapes and promotes the greenery outside.

Taking advantages of the site, the architecture of Fu-Guei Sanyi goes beyond a gallery to become the stage that celebrates nature. In summer, the shower of Royal Poinciana flowers ignites yellowing and falling of leaves to indicate the coming of autumn. At spring time, the falling of Chinaberry flowers awakes the blooming of Tung flowers to mark the arrival of summer. As seasons change, the architecture epitomizes and offers the beauty of nature.