Tongji Architectural Design (Group) - Majiabang Cultural Museum, a reinterpretation of the settlement and courtyard beyond time and space
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Majiabang Cultural Museum, a reinterpretation of the settlement and courtyard beyond time and space

Tongji Architectural Design (Group)

Culture  /  Completed
Tongji Architectural Design (Group)

The design of the museum derives the concept from the indigenous living scenes of the settlement and local residential typology, and evokes ancient civilisation through the reorganisation and reinterpretation of the 'settlement and courtyard' beyond time and space. The site retains a large area of raw wilderness and water resources, and the natural texture of the surrounding environment is incorporated into the building form through a reasonable redesign.

The Majiabang Culture Museum is located within the Majiabang Heritage Park and is surrounded by open fields. The surrounding buildings are embedded in the fields in a low-rise 'settlement' structure. A viewing terrace leads to the end of the interior pathway, which provides a direct view of the site sculptures. Once outside the building, the viewer can also enter the park and look back at the 'field settlement'.

In the project, we designed a red-colored plain concrete material to restore the appearance of a building with the characteristics of Majiabang pottery. The sunlight etches the delicate details of the façade, which is transformed all the time in several simple courtyard spaces. Unlike the glossy, modern façade materials, this material, which is rough and treated by primitive methods, makes it more receptive to the effects of time and nature. In different climates, the walls change colour in response to differences in temperature, humidity and time of day. As if it were alive, it blends into this field.

The building is organized through several simplistic and prototypical units that create an interesting touring sequence. Like a primitive settlement, each individual unit leads to a circuitous path around the building. The museum's exhibition and leisure spaces follow the path, with the entrance leading through a corner courtyard to the museum's navigation. The entrance to the lobby is directly opposite the main gallery, which is pierced on both sides by an adjacent courtyard that overlaps a trio of spaces: the lobby, the courtyard, the lounge and the remains in the distance. A narrow pathway leads the way along turning east to continue. The space becomes brighter and more open as one proceeds, with the lush farmlands spreading out horizontally in front of the viewer.
The east side of the gallery is the city and the west side is the Majiabang heritage sitewhich representing two different eras. The gallery is also a central place for various functions, with various exhibition halls and multifunctional halls on the north and south sides. Five courtyards are naturally formed between the building volumes, creating interesting transitions between the interior functions and creating a unique character for each courtyard at the nodes of spatial transition, embellishing and enhancing the spatial experience of the entire building.

REFLECTION: The settlement is a mode of human coexistence, a product of the co-development of man and nature. In the design of the Majiabang Cultural Museum, we have adhered to this understanding with the primitive society, creating a sensible place to present the spiritual and material heritage of the Majiabang culture to the public.


 Jiaxing, Zhejiang province
 Jiaxing Cultural Bureau
 7848 mq
  5,854,724.76.00 €
 Qun Zeng
 Min Wu, Xiaoqin Wen, Rongrong Li, Zhong Ma
 Zhejiang Boyuan Construction Co., Ltd.
 Tongxiang Zhongda Building Materials Co., Ltd. Nanjing Belida New Material Systems Engineering Co., Ltd.
 Yong Zhang


Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co, Ltd. (TJAD) was founded in 1958 and has now developed into one of China's best large-scale design & consulting groups.
The lead architect Zeng Qun is the Vice President, Chief Architect, Professor level Senior Engineer of TJAD., a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA) in the UK, and also serves as a Master's Supervisor and Visiting Judge of Tongji University School of Architecture and Urban Planning.
He has been nominated for the China Architecture Media Award, the first Hong Kong Institute of Architects Cross Strait and Four Regional Architecture Design Gold Award and Excellence Award, and the Taiwan Far East Award nomination. He has also won national and provincial level architectural design awards multiple times. His work has participated in exhibitions such as the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Urban Architecture Biennale, the Milan Triennial in Italy, and the Venice Biennale.

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