The design brings hope to people, and CROX Crawford approaches the design of the Jiangnan University Museum from multiple perspectives, thinking about the essential relationship between people and interactions. The logic of the building echoes the water of Taihu Lake and the sailing, and the volume of the building breaks the heaviness of a single building, and the surrounding lines and overlapping buildings form exhibition halls with different functions, echoing the traditional courtyard layout and forming activity platforms of various scales. The river meanders, and the buildings are staggered and freely collected, finally forming an interpenetrating campus style and creating a living and breathing museum in Jiangnan.
Water is the foundation of the building form, and the fluid base echoes the beautiful scenery of the mountains on the west side of the campus and along the Changguang River wetland, imagery of the intermingling of the humanities in the south of the Yangtze River. The courtyards of Jiangnan are staggered, a landscape at hand created by the literati. The logic of the museum construction is not only the external form and expression but also the integration of architecture and landscape to interpret various life scenes and create a five-sense courtyard.
The building creates a loved one’s scale platform to provide a kind of pedestrian experience for school teachers and students to swim, work, look and see, and flexibly participate in this open environment. The curved platform resembles the water waves of Taihu Lake, combining the treatment of different slopes, height differences, and water surfaces to form a flexible and variable space, gradually enriching the collection with different exhibition activities and generating the possibility of different uses. The three water yards under the platform are introduced into the water body on the north side of the base to create a clear spring flowing internally, forming a landscape that keeps changing throughout the year. The open courtyard enclosed by the building on the platform can accommodate large-scale exhibitions and performances. Following the gentle ramp-up to the rooftop courtyard, the vertical and horizontal orientations together form a free and organic three-dimensional courtyard.
The roof is arranged in combination with the building space to form a rooftop garden, which is convenient to view the campus and the city from afar. The sloping roof shape refers to the university’s logo – like a sailboat cutting through the waves in the vast Taihu Lake, symbolizing Jiangnan University’s “spirit of advancement and pioneering and self-improvement”. The rising curved roof is transformed into a beautiful skyline of the campus, using traditional wooden elements for modern structural interpretation, forming a large span of steel and wood mixed slope roof structure. The design of a connected gentle slope on the horizontal platform continues the empty corridor of the Jiangnan garden, creating a kind of back-shaped walking line and reclaiming the real present moment.
The existence of the gallery is a spatial form unique to Chinese gardens, an additional intermediary environment between inside and outside, a world between light and heavy, real and imaginary, forgotten and memorial, fully expressing the ambiguous figure belonging to Jiangnan. The cleverly arranged gallery forms two buildings outside and connects different exhibition halls inside. The museum area is divided into different exhibition rooms of different sizes according to different functions and attributes and is distributed in a grid of columns to maintain flexibility in the use of space, so that people and things from different eras can be continuously exhibited here, accommodating the diverse stories of time and space.
The interior is presented by a gray concrete floor and plain white walls, simple and bright. The magnetic levitation oil-free air conditioning technology is adopted in the exhibition room to ensure visitors’ comfort and protect the exhibits from climate damage. The color of the building is mainly black and white, aided by water, bamboo, stone, and wood landscape elements so that the overall environment produces light and dark orderly layers of light and shadow. The light transmission and reflection effects of the different glass facades produce a hazy vision, making the building feel as light like a ship’s sail, with the resonance of a written sky and water.
|Work name||Jiangnan University Museum|
|Party A||Jiangnan University|
|Design team||Lin Zengran, Sun Lidong, Duan Meichen, Huang Sai, Zhang Xiu, Zhang Mingzheng, Liu Hui|
|Project location||No. 1800 Lihu Avenue, Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province|
|Total site area||17170㎡|
|Design Status||Competition Concept Design|
Editing and translation: @Ibo, ©️FULLDES authorized publishing, copyright from the Author, Image copyright from the photographer or Company
CROX is established with the belief that the relationship between the users and the environment must reach the state of equilibriums in all space design projects.
We aim to deliver oriental humanistic values with the design philosophy of ‘avant-gardenaturalism’, creating a dialog between people and space, carefully presenting every possibility of life.
From metropolis plan, city landscape, interior decoration, exhibition design, scenery creation to window display, Crox has successfully overcome the traditional space definition and presented a new experience of communication without boundaries.