Skip to main content

Fuxian Lake Art Center

Balance on the Cliff

The project is located on a very special site on the top of a steep slope on the shore of Fuxian Lake, Yunan, China. Multiple conflicting factors converge and entangle here: facing the beautiful natural scenery yet backed to a large manmade area; being the deepest and clearest lake, yet bred in fragile crustal conditions; closed to the prehistoric remains of Cambrian fossils, while in sight are modern developments and constructions...Technically, the site is already small and further cut into by the fire lanes of the surrounding projects, nor can the new building block the view of the lake from the residential complex behind the site.

A powerful field force is needed to strike a momentary balance in the tension of contradiction and conflict, in dialogue with heaven and earth, and symbiosis with nature. Thus there is, "Balance on the Cliff". Experiment with a different building on the steep slopes of a cliff halfway up a mountain, looking for a calm shock with a tense balance.


The fire lane that cuts into the site is covered with a roof and openings, and the flattened part of the site on top of the cliff is restored. An oval-shaped square with slightly undulating topography and red gravel pavement was surrounded by native trees by Fuxian Lake. On the square, several strange forms emerge, ancient totem-like, pointing to the sky.

The trees separate the surrounding complex of development and construction, creating a red, clean land that opens up to the lake, giving rise to a miraculous power. Settle down, watch the lake and mountains, listen to the sound of wind and rain, and imagine the distant past.

155 meters

At the edge of the lake facing the plaza, a smooth horizontal line floats low, the top of a 155-meter-long square volume embedded in the mountain, which is vaguely exposed. 155 meters, the deepest depth of Fuxian Lake, is coincidentally also the length of the legendary Noah's Ark. 155-meter-long horizontal line, with both ends overhanging from the edge of the cliff, is like a balance on a cliff.
The balance creates a new order in the chaotic environment and fills all the uncertainty into one integrated whole, each in its right place.

Long Scroll and Totem

Facing the magical lake and distant mountains, the spaces that unfold horizontally like a long scroll are, in turn, the art space, theater, and library. The spaces develop deeper and deeper, hidden in the mountains, and at special places they break out of the soil cover, forming totems of special shapes on the plaza, which are three irregularly shaped skylights of the art space and the domed library.

A Theater with a View
An outdoor theater shaped like a trilobite (commonly found in Chengjiang fossils) connects the plaza at the top of the hill with the building embedded in the mountain. When there are no performances, you can also sit here and watch the sunset over the lake and listen to the sound of the wind coming from the distant mountains.

The surface of the building is made of natural materials that can record changes in time. 155 meters of the horizontal line, which becomes the measure of time.

The project takes environmental protection as the starting point, and makes full use of the original geological mountain conditions of the site for protective construction according to the local conditions. The design adopts an innovative structural system, which cantilevers through the overall steel truss structure to damage the mountain as little as possible. The building material pavement uses local materials and is locally sourced.

Scan QRC