Alexandru-Stefan Costea

Architecture/Architecture (International) (RIBA Part 1) BA(Hons)


Located at the Southern edge of Haiyan Village, the project proposes a cultural heritage centre that will not only explore the history of the region while teaching locals and tourists alike of the importance of Dian Lake, the freshwater source which is at the heart of Kunming's development. In an effort to clean the lake from heavy pollutants, local authorities constructed a wastewater management facility. As a response to the clean water scarcity in the village and the surrounding region, a water purification plant was integrated with the design. The proposal is built around the 5 water basins, each representing a stage of the water purification process; their scale contributed to the dramatic entrance, enriched by the interior courtyard and the double-height atrium behind the reception.

As the visitor enters the building, they are given a clear path to follow and walk through a set of exhibitions, an aquarium, and finally, a water treatment workshop. The journey concludes with a visit to the restaurant, which keeps the thrilling effects provided through aquariums while taking guests on a culinary journey with an offering of traditional as well as contemporary cuisine. Finally, the visitors can explore the surroundings via the given partially submerged paths, with glass insertions that allow them to envision the life within the lake.