As one of the typical elements in the traditional Chinese culture, the rites and music culture plays a key role in the important etiquette and celebrating ceremonies. In order to correspond to the celebration atmosphere of the magnificent Olympic Games and embody the Olympic spirits of participation, experience and interaction of the public, we take the “rites and music culture”, an element fully reflecting the traditional Chinese culture, as the theme of the landscape of the Sunken Garden.
The conception of “rites and music” in the traditional Chinese culture extols the ubiquitous intrinsic nature and the personal accomplishments of the Chinese people through music, architecture and other forms of arts.
The courtyard which we design is the third one when counted from south to north, located in the middle of seven sunken gardens. To the east of the courtyard there is an underground commercial building below a dragon-shaped water system, and to the west there are an subway line running through the venues for Olympic Games and some commercial space. The southern end and the northern end of the courtyard respectively leads to another two courtyards, constituting a transitional space. Here are the red walls which we design. They are not built with grey bricks painted red, but look like hundreds of “snare drums” supported by a red steel structure. The drums can be beaten, with lamps inside, so they can serve as drums during the daytime and lamps at night. Such a design combining drums and lamps forms a red gate, showing a festival happiness of the Olympic Games. A row of golden “copper flutes”, not cover tiles made of glass, is erected on the side of the corridor. When wind is blowing, the flutes with holes on them can make sound. The lamps beneath the flute tubes can guide the passers-by. A bell tower, not simply a steel-framed clock tower giving the time, stands here, beautifully decorated with rows of musical bells on steel shelves, swirling with wind, with pure and sweet sound lingering around. The rope tied on the windows can be plucked like strings, with melodious notes flying from a sounder below. Moreover, green bamboos and benches also provide a place of leisure for visitors, who can appreciate the oriental rite music drifting in the wind.
Such crucial elements in our traditional rites and music culture as bell, chime stone, drum and flute, as well as existing outdoor staircases, elevators and stairs in the Sunken Garden, respectively incorporate distinctive landscapes as the “Drum Wall” (243 drums in total, with 32 big ones, 30 medium-sized ones and 181 smaller ones), the “Chime Stone Tower” (totally 818 bronze percussion instruments hanging there, with 456 bell sets, 196 copper chimes, and 166 wind bells), the “Panpipe” (16), and the “Curtain of Stringed Fiddle” (16 sets). Meanwhile, the perfect application of partitioned brass gratings on the ground embodying the “strings” well connects all landscapes above and gives a sense of coherence and integrity of the Sunken Garden themed by “rites and music”.
With regard to landscaping, the bamboo wood is selected to echo the spatial sensation of the ensemble of traditional stringed and woodwind instruments, finely achieving a dynamic landscape effect. Some rectangular bamboo woods are arranged in the limited space on the partitioned brass grating ground, forming a “landscape screen” used to separate the space in the Sunken Garden, while meeting the general requirement for the evacuation inside.
On the brass gratings of the partitioned ground there are some functional facilities for passers-by such as seats and tables.
Walking in such a courtyard of “rites and music”, you may appreciate the melodious music of bells, drums, chimes and flutes composed by the blowing wind or by beating the instrument.
General Design: Cui Kai, Fu Xiaoming, Shi Lei
Landscape Design: Shi Lixiu, Gong Lei
Industrial Design: Liu Tie
Lighting Design: Wang Dongning