Our overall planning concept by K/R Architects is composed of three interrelated parts. First, their intention is to create exhibits that define the Urban Constellation Museum of Contemporary Architecture (UC-MoCA) as an institution that consistently reflects and promotes contemporary urban culture. Second, architectural exhibits should educate through experience which is the most effective and memorable way to reach multiple audiences. Thirdly, their goal is to develop our planning concept in such a way that it harmoniously respects the importance of the historic industrial shed, the requirements of the definitive program and the architect’s concept design documents. More images and architects’ description after the break.
A Window to the World .One of the key elements of our planning concept is that the Museum of Contemporary Architecture should be a cultural space that is open and inviting to all. While it’s primary audience will be the people of Hangzhou, we believe that UC-MoCA must address both national and international audiences in addition to local ones. In our view, a successful exhibition design will serve to introduce the world of contemporary architecture to Hangzhou and vice versa: to introduce Hangzhou to the world of contemporary architecture.
A Catalyst for Innovation. We have conceived of the Museum of Contemporary Architecture as a catalyst for innovation. While it is equally important that museums address the monuments and achievements of the past, our vision for UC-MoCA is an institution that inspires its audiences to even greater achievements in our own day. While we believe the UC-MoCA should definitely have programs with a broad appeal to a wide range of audiences, we also feel that the UC-MoCA has a particularly important mandate to the younger generation.
Better Cities, Better Lives. As our cities continue to grow in terms of both size and density, it is the younger generation that will inherit both the accomplishments and the challenges that we face today. In our view, the goal of improving the lives of urban dwellers by creating better cities is paramount. One of the fundamental strategies for creating better cities is creating better architecture. In our planning concept, the UC-MoCA will play a central role in inspiring creativity and innovation in contemporary architecture in the decades to come. A Permanent World’s Fair. As a contemporary museum, the UC-MoCA must be open to the ever-changing world of architectural ideas.
In our view, the exhibits must be a strategic mix of temporary exhibits, seasonal exhibitions, and longer-term exhibits. An ideal composition would be one that invites repeat visits. In our planning concept, we have included exhibits that are visually and spatially memorable and deserve to be seen again and again. In addition, our planning concept guarantees that some aspects of the UC-MoCA program will always be new and changing, like a permanent World’s Fair.
Unique Scale Opportunities. Our planning concept for the UC-MoCA involves a rich array of strategies that are particularly appropriate for a museum of architecture that is housed in a former industrial building. First and foremost, our planning concept exploits the enormous scale and the great height of the former factory building. In our view, the UC-MoCA can and should have exhibits that are uniquely planned for the special spatial and physical characteristics of Factory #1. The height and breadth of the industrial spaces offer unique opportunities for immersive exhibits that engage the viewer in a physical and spatial way.
Balance Between Contemplative and Interactive Exhibits. Our planning concept proposes a thoughtful balance between contemplative and interactive exhibits. In our view, the UC-MoCA should aspire to the highest quality temporary and collections exhibitions in terms of scholarship and presentation. As with all internationally acclaimed museums, these temporary and collections exhibitions should feature original material whenever possible. The quality of presentation must invite serious concentrated attention on the part of the viewer. In our view, the UC-MoCA should also balance this more traditional type of exhibition with innovative interactive exhibits that, in effect, create a dialogue between the viewer and the exhibit. This dialogue can accommodate different technical skill levels – such as professionals, students, children and nonprofessionals, language differences, varied interests, etc.
Balance Between Digital Information and Physical Objects. Our planning concept also provides for a balance between digital information and physical objects, both of which can convey messages to the viewer. In our planning concept, architecture is presented in a physical way, linking material to concepts of structure, architectural expression and personal perception. At the same time, we have proposed the use of digital technologies in two important ways. First, we propose to fully exploit a wide range of digital technologies as a means of accessing and disseminating information about the exhibits. Secondly, we propose to emphasize the degree to which new technologies are actually transforming contemporary architecture in unprecedented ways.
Addressing Multiple Audiences. The UC-MoCA should be deeply rooted in the urban culture of today. To achieve this, our planning concept includes exhibits that address a wide audience: professionals who are looking to enrich their knowledge, non-professionals that are seeking to broaden their understanding of the architectural activity that surrounds them, children that are expanding their innate curiosity regarding their environment, and – most importantly – students who have begun to think of their place in the world and how they can make it a better place. Our planning concept will insure that the UC-MoCA is a welcoming and positive experience for all.
Learning at Leisure. In our view, the UC-MoCA exhibits should not be a “book on the wall”. Rather, it should be an engaging experience that provides the visitor with experiences that are memorable and enjoyable. Our planning concept is based on the idea that the museum visitor is an interested and curious person, whatever their age or background. With the proper exhibit design, that interest and curiosity can be transformed into and educational experience that is valuable and substantial.
In order to achieve the maximum alignment of goals, we have closely studied the site, the historic structure, and the documents provided – including Herzog + de Meuron’s Concept Design for the UC-MoCA – before developing our planning concept. Preservation of Historic Structures. The largest and most significant object on display is the historic factory structure itself. The Architect’s Concept Design calls for the strategic restoration, replacement, and insertion of new elements. Our planning concept respects the Architect’s plan and highlights the presence of the historic structure.