Blurred Lines: border crossing between Macau and Zhuhai

Weiwei Chen, Rhode Island School of Design

View exhibition online: weiwei chen, BLURRED LINES


Since Macau returned to China after ending the colonial era in 1999, the relationship between Macao and the mainland has experienced more in-depth and diversified exchanges. Although Macao and inland cities are located in one country, they have different cultures, politics and economy. This thesis attempts to study the unique architectural types in Macao and show the cultural characteristics of Macao's changes under the historical background of different ages.. Political factors have caused Macau’s sense of nationality to shift several times.

Since its completion, the Gongbei port, which connects the two places, has witnessed historical changes on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and is also the physical boundary connecting Chinese Mainland and Macao. The port is expanding to accommodate more tourists. In the future, with the deepening of exchanges, as the largest customs clearance port, it will also carry a deeper significance and practical role.Its role in the colonial period was as a boundary, but now it has become a bridge between differing people, culture and economy. Anthropologist Victor Turner once proposed that the threshold is an intermediate zone, a process of change and ambiguity, but here at Gongbei Port, it is a process of integration. This thesis aims to project ambiguity onto the architecture, so that the boundary can host both cultures, so as to respond to the cultural characteristics and history of the two places. My intervention is mainly to convey a concept of transition through architecture. I want to enhance the site’s cultural attributes in space. Travelers can also visit exhibitions and understand the history of the two places when passing through the gateway, which reflects the architectural form of both cultures. I want to mention the design through the single element of the wall which breaks the original division, forming an interactive and shared space from Macau to Zhuhai and from Zhuhai to Macau.