Tianjin History MuseumEdit profile
TIANJIN HISTORY MUSEUM The concept for the Tianjin History Museum is based on an abstraction of a series of historical urban features which are key to the founding of the city of Tianjin, in the People’s Republic of China. The history of Tianjin is connected to its waterside location on the Yellow Sea and the sequence of lift bridges which were some of the first in modern China. Tianjin means “heavenly ford` and is known as the location where, in the late 14th century, Zhu Di crossed the canal to eventually seize the throne of the emperor. Tianjin is also recognized as being the largest salt producing area in China, both through mining and water beds, known as salterns, which are a prominent feature of its landscape. The concept of the building is to recall these urban and historical events in the expressions of the building and its landscaped setting. The water and pedestrian walkways and bridges that surround the museum recall the saltern beds and form the foreground for the museum and also tie the building into the landscape of the cultural center of which it is a part. The crystalline form of salt is the inspiration for the façade system and central exhibition space. Main galleries are wrapped around a courtyard, a traditional Chinese building typology. Into this courtyard is inserted a glazed enclosure in the shape of salt crystals that forms the grand preface hall which rises above the lower scale massing of the main building as a focal point. The crystalline form of salt is also the inspiration for the façade system which consists of individual cast translucent glass squares that will react with natural lighting conditions to enliven the presence of the museum within its context. The museum’s expression is also based on Tianjin’s identity with bridges. The uplifted form of the entry symbolizes the first modern operable bridge which was located in Tianjin. The bridges in the atrium also recall the traditional pedestrian river bridges in the historical area of Tianjin. The galleries are organized around the central atrium so that the visitor can interact with the exhibits in a variety of ways including thematic or chronological. A viewing window and terrace at the top of the gallery sequence provides distant views of the old city along with an overlook to an abstracted plaza and garden in the shape of the plan of Tianjin.