by Katherine Brice in Architecture on Thursday 21 May 2009

An architecture lover’s paradise, the Jinhua Architecture Park in China is a two kilometer ribbon of land that winds itself along the Yiwu River. It includes seventeen specially designed pavilions by leading Chinese and international architects. The project began in 2002 as a memorial dedication from Chinese architect Ai Weiwei for his father, Chinese poet Ai Qing.

The pavilions have varied functions such as ceramics galleries, restaurants and performance spaces. The designers were given an opportunity to create architecture in which the function follows the form, resulting in a showcase of unique building displaying the diversity of modern architecture. This can be seen with Swiss firm; Herzog and De Muerons design for a reading space.

Normally concerned with facade treatments, they were encouraged to unleash their creativity into a more sculptural form. There creation was an inspirational reading space formed by a maze of twisted red metal honeycomb. Despite the distinctly different building forms the park manages to maintain a homogeneous design by cleverly linking the pavilions with devices such as materiality, vistas and landscaping.