Project description

There was an occupation in China in last century that involved travelling to different villages to screen films for people. The role of this kind of ‘nomadic projectionist’ is remarkable in the cultural history of rural places in China, for it helped form the collective memory of the generations that lived through a period of intense change. Unlike this restless and surging time, Lake Taihu – in the Yangtse Delta in China – is always calm.  During these years, it witnessed the vicissitudes of its surroundings and wraps the stories in its mist on the flat ripples. The design of a floating architecture for the twin animators travelling around the Lake Taihu is a rediscovery of cultural characteristics that fade with traditions, and a salute to the rural society which is the inconspicuous foundation of China.  


The architecture reflects the condition of animate matter on several levels. Firstly, the mobility and flexible morphology of the building, and the interior space with dynamic views, animate this architecture visually. Secondly, variable weather and different occasions of events give rise to animating atmospheres which enliven this architecture. And thirdly, what is animate becomes recognised as such through its contrast to what is static. The relatively static way of living in the area of Taihu, through with the productions of the animators based on people's lively stories, gradually accumulates to give witness to the animating life around the lake, and so forms an archive of passing time. Time is what animates materials, just as it animates the static frames of a film.

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