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These barns were built in the Chinese city of Jiaxing in the 1950s, and consisted of two long brick structures that spanned the length of a pond: “These buildings have witnessed the development of the entire city,” comment the architects of Shanghai Roarc Renew. “So we wanted to protect them, not destroy them.”
The barn owner decided to open a art Gallery here, so homework Roarc Renew was to develop a project that would preserve the old structures. Although they were built in concrete and brick, the structures were fragile and any superstructure could damage them. For this reason, the architects used the warehouses as an exhibition space, having previously restored the vaulted ceilings and painted the walls white. And all the ancillary functions necessary for the art center were carried out outside the barns. For them, the studio has built a special brick building / corridor connecting the two old constructions.
The TaoCang Arts Center It now occupies an area of 2,448 square meters, with one barn converted into an art gallery and the other into a commercial one. On both sides, the architects also added large semi-circular revolving doors that allowed natural light into the space, and painted lotuses on the ground as a tribute to the village’s flower industry and the adjacent pond. In the future, the corridors will house restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops to support the center.