Fifteen years after the symbolic handover, the Chinese Pavilion at Strijp-S is about to be completed next year. Construction started on Thursday.
Eindhoven and its Chinese sister city Nanjing gave each other gifts in 2005 to mark the 20th anniversary of their connection. Eindhoven gave Nanjing a Friendship Park, which was completed in 2011. Nanjing’s gift took longer mainly because Eindhoven struggled with the location.
In 2015, the pavilion is decided to be located at Strijp-S and the design was presented. The plan was approved go-ahead last year. A number of parties in the city council still had some doubts about possible increased costs. For example, D66 wondered whether the price tag for the pavilion will soon be higher if the construction costs increase further. However, according to mayor Jorritsma, the job is being done within the available budget.
The pavilion will house a high-quality Chinese restaurant with approximately 30 seats. Eveline Wu has been involved in the project for many years: “We serve Sichuan cuisine. The restaurant’s tableware comes from Nanjing. I hope this restaurant can show the true taste of China and Nanjing’s DNA and create a deep connection and relationship between the cultures of the two cities”.
The pavilion would become a meeting place for the Chinese community and the international community in Eindhoven. There will be permanent exhibitions of Chinese and visual art that alternate. The patio will be decorated with changing Chinese objects, with the city of Nanjing as the theme. The pavilion will also include elements of the Chinese language, culture and medicine.
The construction of the pavilion is expected to finish by the end of May next year. The pavilion is planned to open from September 2021 during GLOW 2021.
In recent years, the soil had been stored on the site of the pavilion. That has now been cleaned up and the site is being further prepared for construction. Next week, the contractor will start with the pile foundation. Then the foundation for the pavilion begins.
The pavilion is built with stones that are baked in an ancient traditional way in Nanjing. Such real handicraft makes each stone unique. In mid-November, the stones will be transported by ship to the Netherlands and will arrive at the end of the year. The construction of the pavilion will then start.
Mayor John Jorritsma is pleased that construction can finally start: “The pavilion is an asset to Strijp-S and the city. But it is more than a building; for me, it also symbolises the way where different cultures can view a project. Because a lot of water has flowed through the Dommel. We have had to learn to understand each other better in recent years. For an international city like Eindhoven, it is always good to be reminded that in this world there are different roads leading to a solution.”