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30 Apr 2009

Ningbo Historic Museum

A Museum in the city of Ningbo, China picked up pieces from it's surroundings for an inspirational design.

In 2008, a 33 km bridge was opened to allow travelling between Shanghai and the city of Ningbo in less than two hours. This has rejuvenated the local economy as property prices have since risen dramatically. Sitting on a massive unpopulated plaza in Yinzhou, a district in the city of Ningbo; the Ningbo Historic Museum, a three-story, 30'000-square-metre block positioned on the plaza's northwestern edge.

On approach, its form looks strange. The box-like faade houses materials that appear to be inconsistent and ill-fitting. Upon closer inspection, the walls reveal the presence of over 20 different types of recycled tiles and bricks collected from destruction sites around the region. The small windows reveal little of the content of the Museum. The architect, Wang Shu of Amateur Architecture Studio, responsible for the Museum stated that he interpreted the idea of the mountain by widening the range of entrances and treating the space inside as if it were a kind of maze.

From Wang Shu, "When I designed this, I was thinking of mountains. I couldn't design something for the city, because here is no city here yet, so I wanted to do something that had life. Finally I decided to design a mountain."

The Ningbo Historic Museum looks like it's been there forever, fitting into the surroundings. At the same time it stands out in the surrounding environment carrying a very contemporary look.

Reader's Comments

1. 2009-06-03 10:32  
Amazing to find a local China architect that really thinks and works on brave innovative concepts. brillant idea. This should be a proud showcase to the world of great CHINA architecture by the Chinese and not another foriegn top architect.... 5 stars to Wang Shu. Wish I could work on projects with him in the future. Maybe he might be the next Tadao Ando of China.
2. 2009-07-20 08:18  
With all the demolition that is going on in this country, using recycled building materials not only links it to contemporary Chinese culture, - it also relates to the idea of archaeology and preservation. Brilliant!!

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