Museums, libraries, cultural centres
The main body of the Museum is an abstract summary of the imperial kiln and the imperial court with a forceful mass and a formal plainness inspired by the protruding eaves of traditional Chinese architecture. The internal space is divided into three parts - the abstraction of the palace; the production, transportation and use of Jin Zhuan, which directly translated as Golden Brick, and the abstraction of the brick kiln. The museum is neither a kiln nor an imperial court, but a contemporary public architecture that combines the embodiment of both. The architectural complex employs a variety of widely applied contemporary constructions with bricks that highlight the presence of Jin Zhuan. The architecture itself is more than a museum for Jin Zhuan but also the annals of bricks from the past to the present.
This project was processed in two phrases. Phase I is the Imperial Kiln Park and Phase II is the supporting parking and research center. This design is Phrase I. The total planned construction area of Phrase I is 15534.55㎡, including the Visitor Center, the Museum of Imperial Brick, the Communication Center, the Manufacturing, and the heritage area.
The Visitor Center is located at the heritage area with adjustments to local conditions. Taking advantage of the ruins and Chinese traditional landscape design, different layered space creates a modern landscape design with unique characteristics, which pictures a sense of wilderness so as to emphasize the condition of ruins and to keep the original status of the site. The complete, half and broken kilns inside the park are arranged to form a sense of community that evokes an imagination in the visitors of the heyday of the production of Jin Zhuan.
The height of the main structure of the Museum of Imperial Brick is 17.5m. There are three floors above the ground and four floors in part. The first floor is the Preface Hall with a double-height space of 12.2m. The second and third floors are mainly for exhibitions and offices. The partial four floors are used for tea rooms, VIPs and exhibitions. The core of overall circulation - the winding stair, is the imitation of the external form of imperial kilns and also the metaphor of its interior, so that tourists can gain a vivid experience of the kiln site. It also forms a spiritual communication between people and the imperial bricks. The Museum endeavors to enhance its academic performance by providing an opportunity to learn about the structure of the kiln and the production process of Jin Zhuan.
The Communication Center is used for contemporary art, culture exchange and supporting offices. It has two floors above the ground as the main structure and three floors in part. The total building area is 2990.5㎡. It has a separate entrance, giving flexibility to be used as an individual building or with the Museum. The contemporary industrial design has
natural gene from the traditional brick kiln. The Communication Center is the extraction of contemporary industrial design - simple and clean. It follows the tone of the Museum, but at the same time it keeps its special features.
The Manufacturing is not simply for production, but also a showcase of this traditional craft. The main structure is a single floor with a slope roof. The total building area is 2003.47㎡. As for design, it kept the original production plant to the maximum extent and added in new necessary function. Meanwhile, the visiting circulation was organized to help visitors have a better understanding of manufacture process of Jin Zhuan.
For material, the exterior wall adopts environmental-friendly rebirth brick; The insulation material of external wall uses hollow glass micro-beads insulating mortar layer. Doors and windows are all in energy-saving material. The roof is made of a combination of insulating and water-proof polyurethane, combined with green planting and effective natural ventilation, to reduce energy consumption. The air-conditioning system adopts VRV. There is no pollution source in the building. Domestic sewage is discharged through municipal pipelines.
ClientThe Culture and Sports Bureau of Suzhou Xiangcheng District
Gross Floor Area (mq)38875
Design teamTian Shen, Wang Xi, Liu Su, Yang Ying, Lin Yihsuan, Wang Kailing, Mao Weixi, Li Jing
Photo CreditsArch-Exist Photographer / Jiakun Architects / Liu Jian / Yao Li
Jiakun Architects was founded by Liu Jiakun in 1999. Since then, Jiakun Architects has continuously organized and also participated in various international collaborations and exhibitions. As a multidisciplinary office, Jiakun Architects has been working with clients from different countries. It is not only specialized in architectural design, but also large-scale planning, urban design, landscape design, interior design, product design and installation art. With a focus on social reality, Jiakun Architects always insists that architecture, which is in respect of tradition and vernacular, is the symbiosis with nature.