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 The Luyeyuan museum is a timeless work of architecture by Liu Jiakun. For those that follow contemporary Chinese architects, many including myself see him and Wang Shu as the leading pioneers whose works truly start to address modernity in the context of China. According to Jiakun himself, this project from 2002 is of great importance, for it gave him confidence in crafting materiality. From the moment one steps into the compound, the carefully arranged path begins to define a progression of spaces that plays out like drama. Through the bamboo forest, up the subtle steps, across a precarious bridge, one finds itself in the light filled entry hall, half way between the floor and the ceiling. The photoshoot was during a heavily overcast day but the apertures, slots, and openings sculpted out of the concrete mass seem perfectly calibrated to make the interior just bright enough to appreciate the details of the buddha statues but also just dim enough to perceive a sublime quality in the spaces. Built with Jialun's theory of "low-tech" architecture with local villagers as contractors, the building does not employ artificial lighting during daytime and exudes a crude sense of materiality that perfectly complements the objects on display. Subsequently, the client retained Jiakun to do the second and third phases of the museum and the photos show how he was able to again adeptly use natural light to give seemingly raw spaces a spirit. 
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