The new botanical park in the city of Hengshui, China, is mainly a showing of plants, pottery, and floral art, but the project started with an abandoned brick oven, converted through the history inside a new architecture, as recalled by the architectural firm today.
The new building holds public facilities, making contrast against the old oven, which used to be a construction dedicated exclusively to industrial production. With the purpose of connecting with the history of the space, the center and its composition are programmed with contemporary functions and experiences, hoping to connect past and present with the place.
The observation tower maintains the symbol and memory of the previous chimney and guests are even allowed to enter the tower. The sequence of vaulted-ceiling rooms is interrupted by several smaller courtyards connecting the interior with the surroundings.
Bricks were used as main material in the whole construction and became the means to remember the place’s previous texture and use. For the façade, several stacked brick patterns were used to create translucency, breaking in this way, the heaviness of a full brick wall. It is true that the design of the tower makes reference to a traditional oven, yet the new architecture maintains a contemporary composition through connectivity with the surroundings and user experience.
Perforated walls offer the precise transparency degree to certain areas and allow for daylight to enter, creating light and shadow patterns.