Junya Ishigami creates a thin 1km long volume for a new museum of light and shadow that ‘sinks’ underwater in the lake where it is placed and where the internal

Daisy Ratnasari

Rizhao, Shandong, China

“There is something lonely about Chinese buildings that stand in isolation as if dropped into their limitless surroundings,” says Junya Ishigami.

Japanese architect Junya Ishigami and his team at Junya.ishigami+ associates have created a forceful work of architecture as a pure poetic phenomenon constructed for the new Chinese Zaishui Art Museum as a long piece of architecture identical in scale to the vast landscape appears like a streak of wind passing over the lake.

In some places the soft curve of the roof hangs low, contiguous with the lake surface and mountain slopes behind, and in others, it turns toward the sky, opening up generously and merging the interior of the building into the landscape outside.

The project is for a new development in the city of Rizhao in Shandong Province, serving also as an exhibition space, visitor center, and shopping center. 

The complex is located in the Shandong Rizhao development zone.

The exhibition space currently displays chocolate and related artworks, but the plan is to be able to change the display content easily in the future.

The slender new building is like a breath of wind blowing across the lake.

Zaishui Art Museum

“When contemplating architecture in China, that country’s vast, boundless landscapes can pose a daunting challenge,” states Ishigami.

“To build with the diminutive beast that is architecture any kind of equal relationship with the immense environment that is China, is very difficult indeed.”

“From the tiniest abode to the most monumental edifice, everything feels in some way defensive.” 

“There’s an air of resignation, of a forced severing from the environment, a compulsion to close off.” 

“One gets this impression both in towns, and environments away from built-up areas.”

“All of which makes the obvious need to forge a favorable connection between architecture and surrounding environment, when it comes to China, very tricky indeed.”

Zaishui Art Museum

In this project, the new building majestically extends from one end of the lake to the other.

The site is on an artificial lake near the entrance of the area under development, and people visiting will pass through this building on their way to the new development. 

The floor area is approximately 20,000 m square meters.

Along the building, glass is fitted between the columns. 

In some sections it opens up when the weather is pleasant, giving the structure an airy quality as a gentle breeze is invited into the building to caress the skin. 

The lower sections of the glass panels, underwater, have gaps that naturally channel water from the lake indoors.

Architecture and environment have been quietly extended, the building brushing the surface of the lake forming the site for a length of around 1km from end to end, about the same as the lake. 

Zaishui Art Museum

The clear horizontal surface of the lake is drawn inside the building, with the floor, imagined as new land, extending to give a sense of skating on that lake surface, an environment on which humans cannot hope to walk. 

Rows of columns stand in the water; floating on top of them, a sash-like roof. 

A new boundary between water drawn inside here, and the ground. All these elements are contemplated simultaneously. 

Columns repeated at regular intervals define the new surface of the water, while the water’s edge created by that surface defines the new ground. A new exterior is born, in the structure’s interior.

In some places the soft curve of the roof hangs low, contiguous with the lake surface and mountain slopes behind, and in others, it turns toward the sky, opening up generously and merging the interior of the building into the landscape outside.

Zaishui Art Museum

“In this new natural environment created inside a piece of architecture, one senses a landscape in which the scene inside segues into that outside,” states the architect.”

People stroll at leisure inside, and one finds some places with exhibits on large areas of ground, and in others, the ground narrowing, surrounded by a large expanse of water. 

In some places the ceiling is high, allowing in plentiful light and the surrounding scenery; some places are low, ceiling is reflecting on the water, low light slipping, almost crawling across the water’s surface, reflecting on the ceiling. 

From the apertures opened up when the weather is mild, ripples from the lake outside are relayed into the building as rhythmically quivering water’s surface. In winter the lake outside freezes over. 

The liquid beneath the ice flows inside through the gaps at the bottom of the glass, pooling there in anticipation of spring.

Zaishui Art Museum

“Key to addressing the problem of the landscape in China is to view the architecture as a ‘gentle giant’ of an environment, and search for a totally new relationship between natural and manmade,” continues Ishigami.

“An entity emerges in which architecture standing in isolation sits comfortably in the natural environment, the two interacting.”

“One discovers a natural environment inside the building, and through its characteristics as a new outside that has sprung up within the building, forges an amiable connection with the surrounding nature.” 

“Thus. a new relationship between nature and humans is born.”

“Making this happen is the object of this project.”

Project: Zaishui Art Museum
Architects: Junya.ishigami+ associates
Lead Architects: Junya Ishigami and Zenan Li
Design Team: Zhirui Lin, Sellua Di Ceglie, Rui Xu, Tong Zhang, Cing Lu, Yuxuan Zhou, Zhixuan Wei, Yunyi Zhang, Hanyang Zhou, Qinxuan Li, Jason Tan, Anping Song, and Yichen Ji
Structural Engineers:  Xin Yuan, XinY Structural Consultants, and Shandong Bailuwan Co., Ltd.
MEP: Xueqin Yin, Environment-Friendly Solution to Building Services Engineering
Lighting Designers: Xueqin Yin, Environment-Friendly Solution to Building Services Engineering
Furniture Designers: Junya.ishigami+ associates,Junya Ishigami, Zenan Li, Rui Xu, Yuxuan Zhou, Jason Tan, Anping Song, and Yichen Ji
Stone Material Factory: Sichuan Yutong Stone Co., Ltd.
Construction Supervision: Junya.ishigami+ associates
Junya Ishigami, Zenan Li, Zhixuan Wei, Rui Xu, Cing Lu, hanyang Zhou, Qinxuan Li, and Yunyi Zhang
Construction (Reinforced Concrete Part): Beijing Yihuida Architectural Concrete Engineering Co., Ltd.
Client: Shandong Bailuwan Co., Ltd.
Photographers: arch-exist

Next Post

U.S. lawsuit over commissions could shake up Canada's housing market

Breadcrumb Trail Links News Local News Local Business Business A proposed class action lawsuit in Canada alleges a “conspiracy,” which inflates real estate commissions and costs homeowners tens of thousands of dollars Get the latest from Katie DeRosa straight to your inbox Sign Up Published Mar 27, 2024  •  Last […]

You May Like