Traditional Chinese Medicine Center
Master Thesis by: Qing Qin – M.Arch / Thesis Advisor: Alberto Bertoli
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has developed for more than 2,500 years into a practice that includes herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, exercise and dietary therapy. TCM, like Modern Western Medicine, treats diseases and symptoms of those diseases. But unlike Modern Western Medicine, TCM treats non-symptomatic conditions, focusing on health, energy, balance. This extends from the physiological to the psychological, and extends further into cultural well being. Eating, living, education, exercise, meditation are included in TCM. It is a balance of a balance of dualities, body and mind, disease and health, physical and spiritual.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine Center houses treatment clinics and cultural functions. The clinics diagnose and treat acupuncture, moxibustion and massage, and provide herbal treatment. Cultural activities include Teaching, dining, meditation and sleeping. While these activities differ in their nature – one is analytical and clinical, the other informal and generative – they compliment one another, and together contribute to the whole.
The site is a park with a river in Chengdu, with a residential district to the West and a commercial district to the East. The Traditional Chinese Medicine Center is a bridge across the river, connecting the two districts. One wanders through and around the individual structures that house the variety of activities. The casual and immersive experience further enhances the healing and tranquility.
Bamboo is the primary material of the buildings, the bridge and the park itself. Native to the region, it is not only a sustainable resource, but further contributes to the healing environment in a material and phenomenological way. Bamboo, water, wind, light, shadow become the sensory environment that supports the holistic nature of the program.
The medical and cultural depth of Traditional Chinese Medicine exists not only symbolically and metaphorically. This thesis attempts to make physical – in material, activity and context – the holistic practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine.