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The Grand Canal Museum Complex in Hangzhou, China designed by Herzog & de Meuron reflects on the importance of this area in Chinese cultural and natural landscapes. The project illustrates the story of the Grand Canal, through a continuous dialogue between the water and the museum.  Located on the main artery connecting the Grand Canal and the Hanggang River to other large urban development areas in Hangzhou’s north, the Grand Canal Museum Complex has a strategic pivotal position. Surrounded by water on 3 sides, a bold structure with a curved façade houses the museum and faces the river, “creating a visual and material dialogue between the subject and its narrator”. The proposal introduced also a gathering place at the Grand Canal. The museum is centered on the plot. By elevating it by 12m and minimizing the structural elements that touch the ground, the space beneath the hovering museum is freed and thus provides extra covered and shaded public space for the people of Hangzhou and its many visitors. Large public functions such as a grand ballroom and a banquet room are strategically located under the elevated museum, within a veil-like glass façade, and serve as magnets for activities as well as facilitate access for crowd-drawing events. -- Herzog & de Meuron View more View full description
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