Water is the key element for this design. Through a circuitous water system that traverses the entire site, the various elements of the program have been connected into an organic whole. Buildings of different groups have been placed along this watercourse like the variously sized settlement clusters that historically formed along the Yangtze River.
The main building, the Yangtze River Chronicles Hall, is located on the western corner of the site and consists of four functional parts: the main exhibition halls, the collections storage, the public service spaces, and the auxiliary spaces. The building itself has been organized into three strips, arranged side by side, like the archaic Chinese character “水”. The collections storage, being in a sense the core of the museum, has been placed in the center as an anchor for these three strips. The exhibition spaces have been arranged within the upper levels of the two strips on both sides of the collections storage. This creates an integral relationship between the “interpretation” of the exhibition and the “artifacts” of the collections. This is further emphasized by the inclusion of a large section of “visible” storage. The public services and the auxiliary spaces have been placed mainly on the lower levels, allowing them separate access. The massing of these three strips have also been formed in relation to their context: on the interior of the site they create an intimate connection with the adjacent lake, while towards the exterior of the site, with the long horizontal mass of the exhibition halls “floating” above the surface, they serve as a powerful landmark along Tongdu Avenue.
Client: Tongling Government
Location: Tongling, Anhui, China
Site Area: 66,000 m2
Building Area: 30,000 m2
Design Date: 2017