A Window Overlooking Mount Tai: Taishanyou Visitor Center

"Located on the east wing of Mount Tai, Taishanyou echoes the 'Cloud of Hometown' on the west wing. The visitor center is one of the important spatial nodes, and the terrain is low. I hope the building can face the continuous extension of Mount Tai in a circling way, so that it is not only a place to look at Mount Tai, but also a scene integrated with Mount Tai."

—— Fanhao Meng


Taishanyou International Ecotourism Resort is another practice of line+ going deep into the hinterland of Mount Tai after the project of Jiunvfeng • Cloud of Hometown. The visitor center is located at the south end of the resort, connected with the main entrance. With a wide vision and surrounded by mountains and rivers, you can see the magnificent scenery of Mount Tai from a far distance. Therefore, the architectural scene of "connecting with mountains and rivers and integrating with nature" became the initial idea of the design.



△ Location

Project Name  Taishanyou Visitor Center

Location  Tai'an, Shandong

Architecture, Interior, Landscape Design  line+, gad

Chief Architect / Project Leader  Fanhao Meng

Specialty Responsible Person  Xinguang Li (architecture), Jun Zhu (interior), Shangyang Li (landscape)

Design Team  Shu Xing (architecture), Xiaoxiao Fan, Hao Deng, Zhenliang Ge, Li Yang, Sisi Zhang, Limin Qiu, Wen Chen (interior), Jianbo Jin, Xiaorong Chen (landscape)

Construction Area  4402.75 square meters

Design Time  May 2020 - July 2020

Construction Time  August 2020 - August 2021

Owner  Tai'an Lushang Real Estate Co., Ltd

Construction Drawing Design  Shandong Lushang Architectural Design Co., Ltd

Structure  Steel frame structure, reinforced concrete frame structure

Material  Perforated aluminum plate, stainless steel mirror corrugated plate

Photography  Weiqi Jin

01 Flowing Shape

The original site has a height difference of 5meters from east to west. The east side, with a relatively high terrain, connects to the main entrance of the scenic spot, whereas the west side, with a relatively low terrain, connects to the theme square in the scenic spot. The north side has the best view, directly facing the center lake in the park and the rolling mountain scenery in the distance.

△ Site environment


The building rises naturally from the ground and forms a continuation of the towering mountains in the distance with a spiral rising posture. It responds with an extended curve shape to the natural environment and is surrounded by mountains. At the same time, it skillfully dissolves the height difference of the site and connects the public spaces on the east and west sides.


The roof slowly raised from the low terrain on the west side is not only the third facade of the building, but also an open public space from which tourists can climb up to the highest point and look far into the distance or look down to have a different landscape view.


△ Generation



The east side of the site, as the main entrance of the building, not only connects with the entrance, but also forms an overhead visual corridor with the entrance of the scenic spot and the lake through the overhanging of the roof.


The overhead ceiling is covered with mirror corrugated plate which absorbs and maps the sparkling lake and continuous mountains so that the mountain, water and building are integrated here.



The geometric outline of the building is composed of three basic curves. The application of different materials on both sides not only reduces the building volume, but also makes the shape of the building more stretch and smoother. The inner circle arc creates an inclusive and transparent space with a large glass surface facing the landscape and extending the sight. The arc of the outer ring is transited from the roof to the facade of the perforated aluminum plate after torsion, covering the second and third floors of the building. From a geometrical perspective, the facade and roof of the building evolve from the same plan and are hence highly continuous.

△ Plan positioning line diagram


A parameterized surface treatment is carried out for the east facade of the building to implement modularized control of the hole shape of the aluminum plate, which is spliced and transformed into a huge picture of majestic Mount Tai. The vaguely transparent metal facade and the glass curtain wall form a visual conflict between the real at the top and the virtual at the bottom. The abstract mountain pattern and the distant mountain scenery of Mount Tai are superimposed over one another and integrated into one, which further enriches the visual hierarchy of the park and brings a visual fluidity on a larger scale.



In the context dominated by nature, the smooth and stretched curves command the construction of the whole site, and the overall shape of the building is outlined in one stroke. The smooth "brush strokes (especially in Chinese painting and calligraphy)" focus on the sparkling water nearby and the thick mountains in the distance; the cantilevered nearly 13 meters at the top , intends to blend the architecture and the landscape here, which is "pointed"; The last stroke meanders the lakeside path left in the site, extending outward according to the flowing shape of the building, which naturally transitions the architectural form to the outdoor space.



02  Structure and Construction

The heteromorphic shape of the building posed a great challenge for the construction. However, in spite of all challenges, a high standard construction has been implemented through modular control of the structural framework and the specific components.


△ Explosion axonometric analysis

The three basic curves controlling the building outline are spliced by several tangent arcs. After repeated optimization and adjustment, the structural column network is evenly distributed on the bisection points and endpoints of each arc, which ensures the high unity of the main structure and architectural modeling. It is also the basis for realizing the consistency of the internal and external spaces. The curved steel beam maintains the basic form of the heteromorphic hyperboloid of the building. Under the precise guidance of the digital model, more than 600 different steel members are accurately processed and transported to the site for installation. After torsion, bending and gradual change, a series of steel trusses are assembled to accurately restore the original curve intention of the scheme design.



The inner arc glass curtain wall is supported by T-shaped steel as keel, supplemented by four layers of hollow ultra-white glass. The outer hyperboloid building surface is divided, after optimization, into 1040 silver gray perforated aluminum plates, while most of which are transformed into flat plates. This not only saves the processing cost, but also ensures the installation accuracy.



With the staggered perforated plates, the shanshui pattern is continuously presented. The perforation value is 10-35mm, with a total of 10 different sizes, which on the one hand improves the perforation rate of the shadow area, and on the other hand makes the pattern more delicate and readable when visitors look closer.



03  Flowing Space

The unity of form, structure, and space runs through the whole project. The continuous external shape of the building corresponds to the ascending internal space, while the atrium rises from the encirclement.


△  Circular tour streamline

The indoor functions revolve around the atrium and unfold in turn with the large steps. In spite of functional transformation (if any), the sense of integrity and fluidity of the space always run through the experience of tourists.



The open art exhibition hall and the library, which are connected with entrance reception, are arranged in the core step area. Across the salon and cultural and creative sales area, visitors finally come to the cloud cafe where they can overlook Mount Tai.



The soft continuous curve, as the overall design language, is continued in the interior space. The massiness and stable texture of the stones highlight the stability of the space, and the overall plain color system strengthens the sense of tranquility in the space.



Under the organization of flexible lines, the internal space is stacked to maximize the introduction of external mountain scenery and create a spatial experience of shuttling and looking at the mountains.





As Frank Lioyd Wrignt once said, "the internal space cannot be independent of external images. The internal space and the external space must form an intermittent flow. If they are separated, the integrity is gone."



Flowing, as the most important design logic, permeates into the architectural form, spatial experience and structural material. The most externalized presentation is the undulating form of the building which adapts to the natural streamline and spreads to the whole site. The ground floor, facade and roof are converted and at the same time integrated to separate people's activity space in different dimensions and heights, through which a flowing space system is formed. And the interior space is completely in line with the contoured streamline, and is integrated with the outdoor space step by step with a sense of flowing experience through the use of materials and the organization of space.



When night falls, the silver gray curve of the curtain wall changes subtly with the sky light, being reflected in the sparkling lake and echoing with the rolling Mount Tai, and the building is dissolved into the site and environment.





△ 总平面图
△ Site plan
△ Ground floor plan
△ Second floor plan
△ Third floor plan
△ Section


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