In China, the image of marriage registration office is usually closely associated with government institutes. Moreover, registry office, as a part of the Civil Affairs Department, also connects marriage with the complicated and boring bureaucracy. Due to such bureaucratization of the process of marriage, the supposedly romantic and exciting moment of marriage registration turns into mechanized experience and formalism. Nanshan Wedding Center is a new architectural typology: on the one hand, the architects hope to bring a new identity to the process of marriage registration; and on the other hand, it provides different types of public space for other users from the city. Furthermore, it redefines the identity and the monumentality of government building and shortens the distance between the citizens and the governors.
The design strategy is to accommodate a modern wedding center with well embedded programs. The site of the project locates in the Northeastern corner of Lijing Park in Nanshan District, with the size of about 100 meters long and 25 meters wide. The main building is at the north side of the site, close to the street corner. A small pavilion at the south side is connected with the main building by two bridges floating on a reflecting pool. This arrangement not only reveals the ceremonial sense of wedding, and also indicates the main building as a symbolic urban landmark.
The key idea of this design is to exemplify the experience of one circulating in the building. A continuous spiral path connects facets of the experience in a sequential way: arriving, approaching to the wedding hall with the focus of relatives, photo taking, waiting, registering, climbing, overlooking, issuing, descending slope, passing the water pool, and reuniting with relatives. The building is specifically designed to create such memory.
The approach explores how to situate a specific government building in the existing urban fabric of residential communities. Small spaces are divided from the larger volume of the building to achieve relative privacy. The building’s skin is separated into a two-layer structure, with the first layer using floral mesh aluminum to reveal the interior, and the second layer using glass walls to provide a weatherproof structure. The interior space and the outside facade remain white in order to show the spiritual atmosphere of marriage registration.