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New interpretation centre for Forbidden City garden designed by Selldorf
POSTED 01 Feb 2019 . BY Andy Knaggs
Projects like this...are at the core of our practice
– Annabelle Selldorf
The ongoing restoration of the Qianlong Garden – a part of Beijing’s iconic Forbidden City that has never been opened to the public – has reached a significant milestone, with the appointment of Selldorf Architects in New York, US, to design an Interpretation Center that will provide unique perspectives on the complex.

The Qianlong Garden was built by the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty between 1771 and 1776, to serve as part of his planned retirement complex following a 60-year reign. The private retreat has four courtyards, elaborate rockeries and 27 pavilions and structures, containing decoration and furnishings from one of the most extravagant periods in China’s history.

Having been left dormant since 1924, things moved forward when in 2004, the World Monuments Fund and the Palace Museum partnered to review the site and develop a plan for its conservation over a series of phases. The first structure completed was the conservation of Juanqinzhai (Studio of Exhaustion from Diligent Service) in 2008, while three other structures in the fourth courtyard, including Fuwangge (Belvedere of Viewing Achievements), were conserved and completed in 2016.

Restoration of the interior and exterior of buildings in the first, second and third courtyards is currently underway, and due to be finished in time for the 600th anniversary of the Forbidden City in 2020.

When completed, the public will have access to the Qianlong Garden via the new Interpretation Centre, located in a restored structure within the second courtyard. Selldorf’s design creates three distinct halls surrounding an open pavilion, and each hall will provide different information for visitors: on the 18th Century design and creation of the Qianlong Garden; on the conservation of the complex; and an open space with an unobstructed view of the third courtyard rockeries to allow peaceful contemplation.

Selldorf Architects’ principal Annabelle Selldorf is to work with exhibition curator Nancy Berliner on the contents of each hall, all designed to engage the senses through artefacts, videos and other didactic material.

"Projects like the new Interpretation Centre at the Qianlong Garden, that bring people together in a spirit of enquiry and inclusiveness, are at the core of our practice," said Annabelle Selldorf. "It has been a great pleasure and honour to work with the World Monuments Fund to create an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the Gardens and experience their beauty and wonder first-hand."
Fuwangge – after conservation Credit: WMF
Fuwangge – before conservation Credit: WMF
Juanqinzhai theatre room after conservation Credit: WMF
This building will house the new Interpretation Centre at Qianlong Garden Credit: WMF
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NEWS
New interpretation centre for Forbidden City garden designed by Selldorf
POSTED 01 Feb 2019 . BY Andy Knaggs
Projects like this...are at the core of our practice
– Annabelle Selldorf
The ongoing restoration of the Qianlong Garden – a part of Beijing’s iconic Forbidden City that has never been opened to the public – has reached a significant milestone, with the appointment of Selldorf Architects in New York, US, to design an Interpretation Center that will provide unique perspectives on the complex.

The Qianlong Garden was built by the fourth emperor of the Qing Dynasty between 1771 and 1776, to serve as part of his planned retirement complex following a 60-year reign. The private retreat has four courtyards, elaborate rockeries and 27 pavilions and structures, containing decoration and furnishings from one of the most extravagant periods in China’s history.

Having been left dormant since 1924, things moved forward when in 2004, the World Monuments Fund and the Palace Museum partnered to review the site and develop a plan for its conservation over a series of phases. The first structure completed was the conservation of Juanqinzhai (Studio of Exhaustion from Diligent Service) in 2008, while three other structures in the fourth courtyard, including Fuwangge (Belvedere of Viewing Achievements), were conserved and completed in 2016.

Restoration of the interior and exterior of buildings in the first, second and third courtyards is currently underway, and due to be finished in time for the 600th anniversary of the Forbidden City in 2020.

When completed, the public will have access to the Qianlong Garden via the new Interpretation Centre, located in a restored structure within the second courtyard. Selldorf’s design creates three distinct halls surrounding an open pavilion, and each hall will provide different information for visitors: on the 18th Century design and creation of the Qianlong Garden; on the conservation of the complex; and an open space with an unobstructed view of the third courtyard rockeries to allow peaceful contemplation.

Selldorf Architects’ principal Annabelle Selldorf is to work with exhibition curator Nancy Berliner on the contents of each hall, all designed to engage the senses through artefacts, videos and other didactic material.

"Projects like the new Interpretation Centre at the Qianlong Garden, that bring people together in a spirit of enquiry and inclusiveness, are at the core of our practice," said Annabelle Selldorf. "It has been a great pleasure and honour to work with the World Monuments Fund to create an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the Gardens and experience their beauty and wonder first-hand."
Fuwangge – after conservation Credit: WMF
Fuwangge – before conservation Credit: WMF
Juanqinzhai theatre room after conservation Credit: WMF
This building will house the new Interpretation Centre at Qianlong Garden Credit: WMF
RELATED STORIES
World Monuments Fund training Syrian refugees to restore lost heritage


The World Monuments Fund (WMF) is beginning to lay the groundwork for a new heritage conservation training programme after announcing plans last month to establish a £500,000 (US$648,000, €550,000) scheme for Syrian refugees to rebuild historic heritage sites.
Annabelle Selldorf to oversee major revamp of New York's Frick Collection art buildings


New York studio Selldorf Architects will lead a major upgrade and expansion of art museum and research institution The Frick Collection.
Architectural institute being set up in China's Forbidden City


The Palace Museum – housed in Beijing’s, Forbidden City – is to set up an architectural institute equipped for research, training and restoration on China’s ancient architecture.
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COMPANY PROFILE
Holovis

Holovis is a privately owned company established in 2004 by CEO Stuart Hetherington. [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

EAS rebrands to IAAPA Expo Europe ahead of 2019 show in Paris
The Euro Attractions Show has been rebranded as the IAAPA Expo Europe ahead of this year's event at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition centre. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Simworx - The power to move you…
Simworx is acknowledged as one of the world’s leaders in the supply of 4D Effects Cinemas and Motion Simulation Attractions. Find out more...
More videos:
Miko and the Spell of the Stone - Movie Trailer – Red Raion
Red Raion: Meet the Team - Introduction – Red Raion
Experience the experience – Polin Waterparks & Pool Systems
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

16-19 Sep 2019

IAAPA Expo Europe 2019

Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris, France
21-24 Sep 2019

ASTC 2019 Annual Conference

Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, Canada
+ More diary  
 


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Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

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ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
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