The project is in Mabian, Fulai village, Sichuan, China. This is a financial support project that intend to injects new development vitality into Mabian County and Fulai Village. This place is full of regional characteristics. Tea garden spread in the mountain, the valley filled with clouds, red sandstone exposes from the mountain, and special local customs born in this land. These all become the context of design.

▼在地生长,embedded in the mountain scape © 存在建筑


The site area is 1,462㎡. Total investment is 3 million, 2 million for construction, 1 million for decoration.

▼项目区位,location map © We&Arch

▼地域背景,regional analysis © We&Arch


形态衍生 | Form Processing


▼用地周边,site analysis © We&Arch

▼地形条件,topographic condition © We&Arch

The site is located at a hillside in a valley, surrounded by mountains and embraced by clouds. We wish the visitor center could stand there as an ancient church that has been existed for thousands of years. And provide a designated pilgrimage to nature for everybody.

▼如山谷中的教堂,提供自然的朝圣之旅,like an ancient church built in the valley © 存在建筑

项目用地的最高点与最低点存在约10M高差,以大致20% – 35%的坡度坡向山谷,将景观尽收眼底。

The section has 10 meters height difference within, with a 20-35% gradient slope towards the valley.

▼空间形体衍生,Space processing © We&Arch


From horizontal view, 70 degree is the optimal sight range. For vertical view, the second floor allows a 30 degree sight which is such ideal.

▼视野分析,horizon analysis © We&Arch


▼模型:顺山而上,model: climbing up the slope © We&Arch

Combining the terrain and view, the building climbs up the slope of the mountain, naturally breaking apart to form three geometric structures, as if they were red sandstone rocks leaking out of the mountain and stacking upwards in turn, and the best view appears at the top of the building when looking back at the valley.

▼三个几何体量顺应山坡向上爬升, three geometric structures climb up the slope of the mountain © 存在建筑

▼如山体裸露的红砂岩,依次叠加,the volume stacks upwards like red sandstone rocks leaking out of the mountain © 存在建筑


路径体验 | The Journey


The lowest block of red sandstone, floating on a hillside with a huge opening towards the distant valley, is the entrance to the visitor center. Follow a ramp up to the first terrace and after a twist, you will enter the reception hall of the visitor center. Looking back at the entrance, you can see a 20m long horizontal hole framing the distant mountains for the first time, quiet and mysterious. Continuing upward to the second terrace space, you can a darker space with several barred skylights and horizontal barred windows on the facade that introduce natural light and exterior views, creating a communicative space with a characteristic sense.

the huge opening towards the distant valley © 存在建筑

© We&Arch

▼转折的框景,the framed scenery © 存在建筑


As you continue walking upward from the second terrace space, you can see a towering stair in front of you after a twist. As you move upward, the distant mountains and the sky are reduced to a magnificent picture by the huge cave on the facade. It is not until you walk out of the roof of the third building and stand on the highest observation deck that the mountains and valleys, and the sea of clouds that fill the entire valley, are fully visible in front of you.

▼拾级至顶,景收眼底,view from the roof top © 存在建筑

▼路径楼梯的场景张力,the tension in the scene of the staircase route © 存在建筑

▼路径楼梯细节,detailed view © We&Arch



Then, walking down the folding stairs, the stepladder is suspended and protruding like a flying bridge. You’ll have the feeling that walking in the clouds and embracing mountains. Distant mountains, houses, roofs and folding stairs all merge together, present a unique and special picture. The entire valley unfolds like a long traditional Chinese picture scroll on the first roof terrace.

Standstill, intermission, and watching, that scene is just like the poem, “you watch the scenery on the bridge, while you and the bridge are part of it.”

▼云端揽景,view in the cloud © 存在建筑

the dramatic view of roofs in the distance © We&Arch


Back to the ground from the stepladder is just the turning point of beginning in this journey. What a fantastic coincidence to be the same place but with totally opposite perception and mood.

▼起点·漂浮的盒子与转折的路径,the beginning of the journey © 存在建筑


Red and white, concise surface and linear sculptural  stepladder. The contrast of material and shape creates a dramatic scene, which is unforgettable. The use of painting material decreases the cost and increase the effect. The little halo diffuses from the roof skylight, merges with mountain, city, and starlight naturally, depicts a picture that only exist in fairy tale.

▼山谷里的星光点,the little halo diffuses from the roof skylight © 存在建筑

▼天窗近景,a close view to the skylights © 存在建筑


展望 | Outlook


For experience, the visitor center becomes a multi-dimensional space that can transfer among various functions – courier station, teahouse, exhibition hall or book bar.

▼第一台地空间室内,interior view of the first terrace © We&Arch

▼第二台地空间室内,interior view of the second terrace © 存在建筑

▼俯瞰,overlook © We&Arch

interior view of the third terrace: the stair well © We&Arch

the space turns from dark to light, and the view changes with the stair levels © 存在建筑

the use of textured coatings that combine architectural elegance and economy © We&Arch


We shape the body of the building to face the sea of clouds and backed by green hills. We try to create a unique figure that could attract visitors and make them stay, and stimulate their interest for the following chapter.

▼夜景,night view © 存在建筑

▼面朝云海背靠青山,一个独特形象的多元空间,a diverse space with a unique image © 存在建筑

▼夜间鸟瞰,aerial view by night © 存在建筑

▼模型,model © We&Arch

▼地面层平面图,Floor plan of the visitor center © We&Arch

▼屋顶平面图,Master plan of the visitor center © We&Arch

▼立面图1, elevation 1 © We&Arch

▼立面图2,elevation 2 © We&Arch

▼剖面图,profile © We&Arch

摄影版权:存在建筑摄影:陆昀/ We&Arch