Emperor's Way Square of Xi' an Daming Palace National Heritage Park

Daming Palace is the imperial symbol of glorious Tang Dynasty, and is now just an historic relic through the vicissitudes of history over a thousand years. Incomplete remnants and feeble protective brick retaining walls at the foundations of the Hanyuan Hall bear testament to the vicissitudes of times and the vagueness of memory. In such historical circumstances, we consider not only that we have the ability, but what should we do? In face of the history and future, we must not follow the practice that some cities ignore the existence of cultural relics in the construction process and separate the historical continuation. Historical heritages must be inherited effectively with substantive respect. Only in the continue process of sustainable development can we find self-esteem and accomplish something in this process.

The image of Xi’an as a Tang City has been far, but her brilliant, great and diverse cultural connotations have still had a profound impact on modern Xi'an and future Xi'an. However, no one can faithfully reproduce the prosperity of the Tang Dynasty, and no one can exactly describe the future of Xi'an, so this huge imaginary space and spatiotemporal span give us design inspiration.

Interface - Emperor's way Square, built up by advanced technical means, can reflect the brilliant civilization of Xi'an over thousands of years into the future, and connect the history and future together. This is the starting point in our thinking about the design of the Daming Emperor's way square and a creative idea that we have upheld throughout. The purer the interface, the further into the future the light will reflect, and the more development space Xi’an will have. The "interface" is a vivid scene rather than a rigid square; it has vivid and rich contents rather than rigid image. The composition of the interface is based on the basic principles of truth, completeness, reversibility and full protection, and its significance lies in the following aspects:

1.“Conservation Interface”: By leveling and backfilling the existing soil, adopting new technological means and setting the aquiclude for organized drainage, it can exclude the impact of rainwater on the subsoil. As a “floating structural body” lying over the Tang ground level and its protective layer of soil, it can conserve most of the relics. We have also chosen a part of the relics to protect and show in the way of “ground museum”.

2.“Urban Interface”: Emperor's way Square, the Hanyuan Hall and the Danfeng Gate form a huge and open “palace courtyard”. The vast space and pure ground pavement have integrated the vicissitudes of historical sites and modern city life as a whole, to encourage people to experience history and feel the atmosphere of city public life. No doubt there will be the ideal venue to show the charm of the city and reflect contemporary human wisdom.

3.“Cultural Interface”: The rehabilitation of Danfeng Gate, the demonstration of Emperor's way Square and historical relics and the rendering of classical elements for urban furniture make the Hanyuan Hall appear even more vicissitudinary and spectacular, and they together provide a platform for displaying historical and cultural information, while the concept injection of modern urban public space has built it a cultural landscape.

4.“Living Interface”: As a modern city square, it must satisfy various needs of the public. The “Living Interface” provides a comprehensive solution, placing a wide variety of urban services into moveable “urban furniture” with a unified exterior. This “urban furniture” can be arranged flexibly according to usage requirements.

5.“Leisure Interface”: LED floor lights are randomly installed throughout the open area in the center of the square. Visitors to the square turn these lights on by stepping on them, giving them a happy surprise and turning the square into a leisure venue.