Jiangshan City in Zhejiang Province of China is a “red” and heroic land where many revolutionaries sacrificed their lives to fight for the liberty of the nation and the people. In order to remember the history and revolutionary martyrs as well as take warning for the future, the local government decided to build the Jiangshan Martyrs Memorial Hall. Located on the south end of a mountain park, the project is adjacent to Xishan Road and urban area on the east, Xishan Park on the north, and the already-existed public cemetery on south and west sides. The north-south and east-west elevation discrepancy on the site are respectively 18 meters and 12 meters or so.
We hold a historical and neutral view on wars. Even for good and just purposes, wars inevitably cause death and let many families suffer from losing their loved ones. Considering that the revolutionary historical resources in Jiangshan Martyrs Memorial Hall are relatively limited, we proposed to imitate and present the image of “soldiers’ who fought at the end of life in an abstract way and through architectural languages, hoping to evoke people’s reflection on wars and life and remind them to cherish and maintain the current peaceful environment. We eventually decided to take “The Broken Branch of Life” as the design theme.
Jiangshan Martyrs Memorial Hall is close to the entrance of Xishan Park. Since the Park is a public leisure place for citizens, we tried to weaken the solemnity of the conventional memorial architecture and endow it with open and amiable qualities.
Openness is firstly reflected on its close connection with the city and natural surroundings. To be specific, the project is linked to Xishan Park’s entrance and urban area on the east side through landscaped steps, connected with a branch road and the city on south and west sides. On the north side, there is an exit that adjoins a mountain path, while on the south of the architecture we set a spacious landscaped trail. All the above-mentioned entrances and circulations form a network, and result in an open three-dimensional memorial venue where people can flexibly move, stop, rest and contemplate.
on the east side of the site, there is a large split-level memorial square constructed in line with the site’s terrain, which also manifests openness. The square is 78 meters long and 38 meters wide. Based on the nearly 4-meter elevation difference between its north and south sides, we set a steps-shaped greening area, a grove, a memorial gallery, and a flat tower, etc. The square fully meets the needs of memorial activities. Besides, it’s equipped with various considerable designs such as benches, shady corridor and washroom, which produce an amiable and comfortable ambience. The square is like the south-facing “reception hall” of Xishan Park, which is open to the citizens.
In brief, the project well integrates the outside landscape area, memorial hall area and ecological cemetery area in an orderly manner, and fuses a “leisurely atmosphere” with a “memorial ambience”, and thereby creates an open place.