A museum inspired by the history of an ancient empire has appeared in the Chinese city of Liyang. Its authors are the architects of the Crox studio. The Liyang City Museum building is part of a large lakeside beautification project with a park and public buildings.
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Natural forms and advanced manufacturing processes are the hallmarks of the new building. At the same time, the source of inspiration for the creation of this project was the ancient legends dating back to the reign of the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD).
The story goes that the scientist and musician Cai Yong heard the sound of burning wood and, sensing their potential, pulled it out of the hearth and turned it into a musical instrument. The tree, even partially charred, made enchanting sounds. This is how the stringed musical instrument qin appeared – one of the cultural symbols of Liyang. This legend prompted Crox to undertake a kind of research that examines the relationship between melody, nature, man and architecture.
This project is reminiscent of the wood facing material of the museum. The asymmetrical volume, which seems to float over the hill, echoing its smooth curves, is decorated with “ribbons” made of wood of different shades. The artificial hill is also a part of the museum, which literally merges with the upper block: it is in its slope that the entrance is located.
Visitors can also take a walk in a kind of inner courtyard, arranged right between the two halves of the building. Natural lighting, complemented by lighting built into the cladding, enhances the surreal effect of the space.