Yanjiao Arts Center

Sanhe, Hebei, China

Infusing culture into the design of an iconic building and plaza

The expanding Beijing metropolitan area has created a dense and bustling city with subsequently dramatic impacts on environmentally clean living. Residents of Beijing are now eager to find new homes in settings with a better quality of life -- clean air and assessable green spaces – in which to raise their families. Yanjiao, a new development outside of Beijing, has been selected for the relocation of the government, new homes and public parks. The first phase of a master plan for this community will provide new residents of Yanjiao opportunities to live in places that can provide a better quality of life than in Beijing.

The Yanjiao Art Center, at the core of this phase, is a facility where nature, art, and culture are gracefully combined to generate spaces where people can enjoy events and other programmed activities. The triangular relationships of the plaza, gardens, and water features are representative of a Chinese puzzle where an infinite number of shapes can be made from a simple triangular form. The garden design shows aspects of Chinese culture, and the design incorporates these influences in the building form, the paving patterns, and planting palette. The triangular geometry of the Art Center extends those patterns and forms into the adjacent gardens and surrounding gathering spaces. By responding to building traditions of local culture and the Art Center’s vernacular form, the landscape design reinforces the concept of place and creates richer details, as inspired by ancient cultural traditions.

Services Provided: Landscape Architecture


  • Merit Award for Design, ASLA Colorado


China Travel Service H.K. Real Estate Development, Co. Ltd.


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