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Sunac · Grand Milestone Modern Art Center by Cheng Chung Design (HK)

Erecting in the magnificent ancient capital Xi'an with a modern and stylish gesture, Sunac · Grand Milestone Modern Art Center appears like a large crystal "gift box", which brings amazing fashionable touches to the land featuring a long history and profound culture. It aims to become a city landmark, and to lead the trend of the era.

Photographed by Qilin Zhang / Ting Wang

This incredible work was created by the joint efforts of CCD, GAD, T.R.O.P and other international teams. Designers involved poured their hearts into the project, from architectural solutions, landscape planning to interior design and artworks.

The project is situated at the junction of two core areas of the city, the Central Culture Business District (CCBD) and Qujiang Cultural Industry Cluster (QCIC). Set at the high point of Leyouyuan and adjacent to Xi'an Botanical Garden, it's a striking presence, which floats in the air like a futuristic crystal box.

As approaching the interior design, CCD broke the boundaries among the building, landscape and interior, injected purity and tension into the 5,500-square-meter large spatial volume, and created an experiential space that combines futuristic, contemporary and artistic features, which leads visitors to a world full of imagination.

Philosophical aesthetics & implications of time

A large irregular spherical art installation is placed at the corner of the foyer, which is eye-catching. With an asymmetrical shape, it offers varying visual experiences to people at different distances, showcasing tension of the space.

The audio/video room beside it floats above the waterscape, which forms the contract of lightness and solidness with the artwork, together merging into a harmonious coexistence.

The interior space continues lightness of the building that resembles a "floating crystal palace" and at the same time presents contemporary magnificence via the spatial pattern, functions and experiences. Its partial structures and textures embody architectural concepts in a broad sense.

Chinese aesthetic master Ye Jintian once said, "Oriental aesthetics emphasizes interaction of the abstract and the concrete, and it's the interaction of objects that enables operation of the world and create endless changes." The artwork at the end of the passage brings such oriental aesthetics of the abstract and concrete to the space, which tells the story of time.

88-second travel through the time tunnel

An ultra-long escalator takes people from 1F upwards to 4F in 88 seconds, generating dramatic experiences. The linear escalator is flanked by high stone walls, which block the sight line and close off the outside world, seeming to bring people into a time tunnel highlighted by a beam of light on the top.

Such profound, eternal and pure design enables people to gain inner peace without any distraction within the 88 seconds ascending the escalator, accompanied by the light filter down from the liner groove.

As arriving at 4F, the field of vision suddenly opens up, with the super-scale transparent space presenting amazing visual experiences.

As opposed to telling the story in a straightforward manner, the 88-second elevator draws on the aesthetics of contrast in philosophy to produce changing experiences, which echoes the journey of life.

Artistic field inside, broad world outside

4F features an 8.5-meter full-height space, enclosed by curtain walls and facade of the building core. The giant artwork and the spiral staircase together result in an artistic ambience.

Artistic elements in the space can always find the way to blend with nature, and achieve perfect harmony.

Spiral lines form the cross-floor staircase, which seems to be floating between the floors, very flexible, pure and poetic.

Sufficient space is left for the negotiation area and water bar, which guarantees privacy of conversation whilst not breaking the overall serene atmosphere.

Inside is an artistic field, outside is a broad world.

This artistic space awash with imagination and poetry is not only a spectacular hall that displays artists' fantastic works, but also a place that evokes interaction between people and art. There are some flexible and versatile "blank" areas, which are capable of stimulating the public's imagination and growth of art.

A giant golden mineral stone is inserted in the space, which seems to be breaking out of it. This structure symbolizes the strong heart of the building, and the map of the property development "Grand Milestone" is engraved on its surface, which shows an avant-garde way to convey information.

Light penetrates holes of different sizes, and then casts sparkling dots on the floor, which are visually pleasing.

The light projected onto the travertine wall enlightens the mind, stimulates endless imagination and thinking...

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