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Tibetan modern architecture

Sponsored feature: an introduction to architectural practice in Tibet by Professor Chen Keshi of Peking University

Lulang International Tourist Town

There is a beautiful town in the lush forest of Nyingchi in Tibet. Here, Tibetan-style buildings sit amid picturesque lakes and mountains, serene against the backdrop of lofty snow-capped mountains and blue sky dappled with white clouds. As the Chief Architect of the Lulang International Tourism Town project, Chen Keshi and his design team spent six years in Tibet. They overcame altitude sickness, communicated with local experts and craftsmen, and visited the project site daily to complete the elaborate design of 250 individual buildings. Lulang International Tourism Town was completed in October 2016.

Traditional Tibetan architecture is the very soul of the design. The project emphasises ‘regionality, originality and artistry’, respecting Tibetan natural geography and cultural traditions. Borrowing from the traditional architecture of Gongbu, Nyingchi, Lhasa, Xigaze and Bhutan, ‘light, colours and space’ are the principal elements in the design strategy. Lulang is the first tourist town in Tibet, and as such is critical to the future success of the idea. The architecture has combined the beauty of contemporary Tibetan architecture with the legacy of traditional structures.

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Lulang International Tourism Town

Nyingchi Academy of Painting and Calligraphy

The Nyingchi Academy of Painting and Calligraphy was another important project by Chen Keshi. The architect and his team took full advantage of contemporary materials to express the aesthetic qualities of timber architecture in Gongbu. The Academy, on the east bank of the Nyang River, serves as a gateway to the city of Nyingchi. The design features modern architectural techniques and new materials.

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Nyingchi Academy of Painting and Calligraphy

The Main Hall of Gansu Gannan Culture and Tourism Expo

In January 2019, Chen Keshi was appointed as the Chief Architect for the Main Hall of the Fourth Silk Road (Dunhuang) International Cultural Expo and the Ninth Dunhuang Tour-Silk Road International Tourism Festival held in Hezuo.

The design of the main hall applies classical Tibetan architectural elements of ‘light, colours and space’ and expresses avant-garde aesthetics and innovative spirit. Deploying a steel structure, the exterior walls of the design are inclined in line with the typical architecture of Tibet, and then painted with time-honoured white mud and completed using long-established handicraft practices.

For web the main hall of gansu gannan culture and tourism expo 1

For web the main hall of gansu gannan culture and tourism expo 1

The Main Hall of Gansu Gannan Culture and Tourism Expo

This sponsored feature appeared in the AR December 2019 / January 2020 double issue – which you can buy here