Floating white clouds are a common sight on the flanks of Mount Tai, a mountain of historical and cultural significance located north of the city of Tai’an in Shangdong province, China. It is the eastern-most and often considered the most important of the Five Great Mountains of China. It is associated with renewal, birth and sunrise.
The formidable mountain now has a permanent cloud on its side, a dreamlike structure that serves as a library and meditation space commissioned by the Lushang Pusu (Tai’an) Cultural Tourism Development Co., Ltd.
Hangzhou, China-based architectural, design and landscape practice Gad Line+studio has created an elegant structure that is both firmly grounded in the mountain while seeming to flutter just above it.
In addition to clouds, the structure brings to mind Viking ships and sports halls and something meant to take off by air or sea, such as the early airplanes made of wood and fabric.
One of the amazing feats of this 287.3 square-metre (3,092 sq. ft) building is the short time it took to design and construct it: only five months. This of course indicate extreme attention to detail in planning.
But some of the design had to be configured on-site and the architects and designers were constantly present, adjusting their designs based on what the demanding site required.
The designers also selected the rocks on site that were used for the base wall that faces the village, using rock construction familiar in the local villages including the Dongximen Village, Daiyue District, the exact location of the Jiunvfeng Study.
A glass level gives the structure its weightlessness and the frameless window panes create an eerie sense of floating in mid-air for the visitors inside.
The white double-layer membrane roof tops the stone and glass levels and gives the structure its distinctive curving profile that inevitably evokes thoughts of flying and sailing.
Menɡ Fanhao, a principal of Gad Line+studio with Zhu Peidong, led the project architecture team that included Zhu Min, Zhang Erjia and Xu Hao, interior team with Jin Xin, Hu Jinwei and Zhou Xinyi, and landscape team with Li Shangyang, Jin Jianbo and Chi Xiaomei.
The seemingly simple construction, the weightless appearance of the building, and the constant play of light at different times of the day make this a magical place filled with awe and peace. Tuija Seipell.