Text description provided by the architects. As the most integrally preserved canal-town in Shanghai, Zhujiajiao attracts an increasing number of visitors every year with its authentic tradition of eastern China. The site, located at the entry of the old town, faces two 470-year-old ginkgo trees. This 1,800 sqm museum will house paintings and other art works related to the history of Zhujiajiao .
Our design approach is to delineate an art-visit experience that is rooted in Zhujiajiao. The architecture will be the carrier of this experience.
In the spatial allocation, the central atrium becomes the heart of the circulation. On the ground floor, the atrium brings natural light into the surrounding galleries through carefully positioned openings. On the second floor, a corridor around the outskirt of the atrium links several dispersed “small-house” galleries and courtyards, which absorb surrounding sceneries and provide diverse spaces for small exhibitions and events. This building-courtyard layout makes a clear reference to the figure-ground texture of the old town, and orientates the visitors to wander between the art works and the real sceneries with an experience of intimate interactions between matter and thought. A reflecting pool, laid in the east courtyard on the second floor, accomplishes an ultimate collection by borrowing the reflection of the ginkgo tree into the museum.