Hangzhou Qiantang River Museum, jump out of the temptation of symbolism
gad · line+ studio, Greenton Architecture Design
Hangzhou Qiantang River Museum is located at the confluence of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and Qiantang River and the occasion of the replacement of the old and the new. The architects propose to jump out of the temptation of symbolism and monuments, reshape the flow of people in a more straightforward way, inspire more behavior possibilities, and provide open, cordial and participatory places for the participants of urban public life.
The project is faced with the challenges of harsh planning conditions: a base area of 3386㎡, the planning height limit of 24 meters, a construction requirement of 12,000 square meters, as well as the diversified display demands. First, 2/3 of the venue volume is designed to be underground, and the flow spirals up from the ground floor to the third floor, in order to balance the conflict between the height requirement of the exhibition hall, the planning height limit and the construction scale. Due to the altitude difference between the Qiantang River Trail and the project terrain, the flows at the visit entrance and the service entrance are separated.
Due to limited construction space, a spiral and interweaving architecture with the shape of the inverted frustum of a cone, bigger in top and smaller in bottom, is designed, with two groups of flows inside and outside the museum, leaving sufficient public space and roundabouts for the ground floor. Meanwhile, it’s like multiple streams of water swirling and intertwining up visually, enhancing the building’s identifiability of born in water. Through upward spiral trails, multiple streams of people with different purposes will eventually converge on the roof of the Qiantang River Museum. The large-scale cantilevered viewing platform has become a symbol of the infinite extension of the city's public space. People are encouraged to explore the visual experiences of the urban landscape in different spatial heights and dimensions, through the spacial elevation and vision expansion.
Architectural facade language is inspired by the modular pond construction approach of five-vertical and five-horizontal in the ancient seawall of Qiantang River. With the help of modern digital technology and the unit-type titanium zinc panel curtain wall crisscrossing “masonry”, the unit-type titanium zinc panel curtain walls with different sizes of convex, concave or flat constitute a series of facade texture changes around the building surface, shimmering like water waves under different lights. The architects have a deep control of the curtain wall unit, through the integrated design of facade, curtain wall, and the lighting. With the small dislocation between the unit and the unit, the night lighting is effectively hidden, and meanwhile, a multi-level visual texture is formed. At night, the curtain wall is covered with waves of light and shadow. In the grand space along the river, the soft and quiet brilliance is sprinkled, which makes the museum a potential new urban public landmark at the convergence of Qiantang River and Grand Canal.
Qiantang River Museum shoulders the responsibility of presenting and disseminating Hangzhou's next candidate project for the world cultural heritage to the world. And due to the project's special geographic location, it will become an important urban public space, urban commercial and residential landmark in the center of Hangzhou in the future. In order to highlight the public attributes of the building, the architects put forward the concept of “public space return rate”, that is, the museum is defined as a new type of full-time public space. The museum not only performs its functions during the operation hours in daytime, but also becomes an organic component of urban public space and an important carrier of citizens’ public activities after closing at night, making it more valuable due to multiple uses of time and space.
Hangzhou Qianjiang New Town Management Committee, Hangzhou Qiantang River Museum
gad · line+ studio is an international innovative design studio founded by Meng Fanhao and Zhu Peidong in China. “line” is the boundary, based on architectural design. “+” aims to break through the clear boundaries of traditional industry and use cross-border thinking as a way to realize the boundless integration of planning, architecture, interior, landscape, operation and other fields. By adapting diverse strategies, we look forward to share the value of design with our partners. From the shaping of urban space to the revitalization of rural civilization, line+ always insists on critical thinking, builds design works rooted in regional and cultural characteristics, and responds to and interprets the diverse connotations of contemporary culture. Under the premise of ensuring high-quality completion, we deeply explore the potential value under business logic, and strive to become a ferryman between culture and commerce.