Called upon to produce an isolated monumental object, Wang Shu and Amateur Architecture picked up on the distant mountains to create an artificial mountain with three internal valleys and several caves. This topographic approach promises a variety of curatorial options. With its salvaged-brick facade (with random masonry arrangement), this museum seems in line with contemporary Western trends: organic patterning, randomization, and sustainability, and Boolean-cutting light and view slices of a conceptual blue foam model.
By slicing away at the ideal extruded form, the monumental scale is broken down and in the roofscape the human scale proportions of a Chinese village are recreated. The angles of the voids recall vernacular pitched roofs, their size recreates the scale of pedestrian lanes and the interlocking figure-ground creates a pre-modern urban plan. Perhaps this roofscape is a cynical gesture, making the traditional city a historical exhibit on display. But since it sits in an as of yet underpopulated new town center, it might be perceived as optimistic, and read as a synthesis of sculptural object and field condition that comments on its context while offering an alternative in line with contemporary design, as well as a response to the urbanism imperiled by the contemporary city.
People's Republic_access of China (1949 CE - Present)
concrete masonry stone or earth
Godel, Addison. "China 2011: Architecture and Urbanism in the 21st-Century Supercity." Knowlton School of Architecture. December 2011.