Taikang Group / Crane Nature Preserve


Location: Wuhan, Hubei Province, China

Scope: Design

Size: 3,600 SF

This cemetery, also as a great wetland park, is located in suburban Wuhan, mid-south of China. Sitting on the hilltop in center of the park, this pavilion combines a couple of functions altogether in diverse dimensions.

At the very top of the site is a sheltered teahouse open to the view, where visitors take a rest after their tour around the park. Several steps down, for this very special ‘crane-releasing’ funeral ceremony, we created an open air platform facing the wetland, where cranes fly from below all the way up to the sky. 

And beneath the platform, half buried in the slope, are the dorms for the crane keepers and the shelter for the cranes. This ‘living space’ hides in the bottom and is most close with the environment. Another support space is a parking lot that connects the entrance on the road and the main part of the pavilion, and a public restroom in the basement.

The overall design is quite inspired by an origami crane. The continuous inclined walls spread along the slope. With changing height and inclination, they become fences, floor, rooftop, and actual walls, and in the end, form this integrity of both architecture and landscape. We decided to keep it simple and clean by using white concrete as main structure, woods on the floor, and full glass curtain wall, to emphasis the integral image.