Architects: CSWADI, Pelli Clarke & Partners
- Area : 50520 m²
- Year : 2022
Photographs :Zhen Xin, Arch-Exist Photography, CDCI, Xiaobin Lv, CSWADI
Manufacturers : CSG HOLDING
- Pc&P Design Team : Fred W. Clarke, Kristin Hawkins, Cory Frost, Hongxi Yang, Rong Chen, Ileana Dumitriu, Olivia Huang, Jie Zhang, Chen Chen, Beidi Zhang
- Cswadi Cheif Architect : Yi Liu, Bo Xiao
- Cswadi Design Team : Yang Yang, Chenxiao Shu, Shunkai Yan, Yu Liu, Yao Wu, Peng Sha
- Cswadi Structural Design : Kegan Xiao, Liwei Wang, Yan Zhang, Wen Yang, Jingmeng Xu, Tian Qiu
- Cswadi Hvac Design : Minghua Wei, Lijuan Dong, Sihao He, Miao He
- Cswadi Water Supply And Drainage Design : Jianjun Wang, Jiuzhou Yang, Danke Wang, Yao Chen
- Cswadi Electrical Design : Hui Li, Faxing Ao, Yu Qiu
- Cswadi Curtain Wall Design : Biao Dong, Jiancheng Luo, Yu Zhang, Ziyang Huang, Qingjun Xian, Honglin Cai, Bingli Yin
- Cswadi Interior Design : Guoqiang Gao, Qiang Tu, Yuan Liu, Yan Li
- Cswadi Architectural Technology : Qinglong Gao, Yanli Nan, Xiaomin Yu, Junwei Cai, Mei Dou
- Cswadi Intelligent Design : Shaowei Wang, Huan Wu, Zezhu Xiong, Xiangyu Bu
- Cswadi Cost Major : Tingxue Zhang, Yumei Zhang, Xiaofang Peng, Yaolin Jia, Jishu Gao, Yamei Zou, Yong Chen
- Landscape : Land Artitude Design
- Lighting Design : Zhongtai Lighting Group Co., Ltd.
- Contractor : China Railway Construction Engineering Group Co., Ltd.
- Client : Chengdu City Construction Investment & Management Group Co. Ltd, Chengdu University of Technology
- City : Chengdu
- Country : China
Text description provided by the architects. The Chengdu Natural History Museum is a preeminent institution for science and culture, welcoming visitors from around the world with expansive exhibits, public spaces, shops, a café, a cinema, state-of-the-art educational facilities, and a verdant landscape that invites gathering and connection. Recently completed in 2022, the 540,000 sq. ft. (50,000 sq. m.) building is a significant cultural landmark for the city of Chengdu, which is in the midst of an economic boom as a new high-tech and entrepreneurial hub. The museum’s design presents a celebration of Chengdu’s historical legacy and modern ethos, transforming the city’s skyline and symbolizing its energy and innovative spirit. The project successfully synthesizes the historical culture and context of Chengdu as it delves into the soul of the local elements “Shu Mountain, Shu Road, Shu Water”.
Form / Tectonics / Shu Mountains
The building massing was inspired by the Sichuan mountain forms created by the shifting of ancient tectonic plates of the Chengdu region. The volumes reflect the rock breaking apart and shifting with the horizontal and vertical forces. The building forms lift from the ground at certain moments to reveal the public spaces within, at the same time maintaining firm anchor to the earth. The individual mountains, or rock volumes, are realized as distinct exhibit spaces, separated and held together by light-filled public spaces. The narrative of tectonic plates also influenced the selection of materials, in particular the local granite of the exterior facade. The organically shaped and composed perforations in the stone were devised to create the impression of snow-covered mountains during the day, with LED backlighting reflecting the stars lit at night.
Experience / Shu Road
The second most significant inspiration was the mountain roads, the Shu Roads, a system of wood plank roads supported from the sides of cliffs. The Shu Road emerges as the Dino Box, connecting the second level to the third and similarly suspended from the sides of the stone volumes. It was designed to be experienced as an adventure—a sloping, interactive space connecting the second level to the third where visitors can walk amongst the dinosaurs positioned along the path and suspended from the ceiling.
The clefts between the rock forms are transparent and glassy, designed to encourage reflection, observation, and interaction. These in-between spaces are visual and physical connections between the exhibits, and likewise to the city, street, landscape, and the canal.
Water / Landscape/ Shu Water
The existing Dongfeng Canal on the eastern edge of the site is mirrored by a network of waterways and reflecting pools. Plant form, texture and color are woven together to create terraced gradients that graphically recall the geometries of the historical agricultural landscape and create unique experiences- Wetland Garden, Bamboo Garden, Water Lily Garden, and a Seasonal Plant Garden.
The interactive water drape at the north building volume is visible from the street. Building forms are reflected in the shallow pools at the north of the site.