Jinhua Architecture Park, Jinhua, China
Architect: Toshiko Mori 2005
The Newspaper Cafe is one of seventeen pavilions designed by Chinese and international architects that provide gathering spaces for the citizens of Jinhua City as part of a public project for the Jindong New District Architecture Park. The Architecture Park is located at the threshold between the old city of Jinhua and a new development proposed by Herzog and de Meuron, and was conceived by Ai Wei Wei, a Beijing-based artist.
The building is a narrow folded plane with two faades. News media is displayed on the north wall facing the old city in a transparent glass and steel faade designed to display more than one thousand standard size Chinese newspapers. Viewed at different distances, the north faade either hides or reveals its content. At a further distance, the newspapers are no longer individually discernible, and compose an abstract texture. The wall facing the Architecture Park and museum is white plaster left intentionally blank to invite display, inscriptions and projections of art. The structure sits on a plaza made of local limestone aggregate and concrete.
The design is encircled by a ramp that leads to a rooftop viewing platform and reading terrace. Portions of the newspaper faade pivot open to an interior cafe. The surrounding plaza provides additional cafe seating adjacent to the structure.
The simple, folded shape of the Newspaper Cafe provides for a multiplicity of activities reflecting the energy of the dramatically transforming city of Jinhua City. It is a place for discourse, exchange of ideas, relaxation, and perhaps entertainment.