Mountainous museum complex to rise next to world's longest canal
High-profile firm Herzog & de Meuron has revealed plans for an eye-catching new museum complex in Hangzhou, China. Inspired by the world's longest canal, it will feature a mountain-like building at its center and will be defined by a glazed facade that's meant to bring to mind a river.
The Grand Canal Museum Complex will be located next to a junction of the Hanggang River and the Grand Canal, which is 1,776 km (1,104 miles) long and dates back over 2,000 years in some places.
The main part of the museum will be elevated 12 m (39 ft) above the ground on structural supports and sport a facade consisting of concave glazing. The space created below will host a shaded public area, as well as a grand ballroom and a banquet room.
Inside, its exhibition areas will measure 50,000 sq m (roughly 538,000 sq ft), spread over two identically laid-out floors. Additionally, the large mountain-inspired building at the center will host a conference center and hotel.
"The museum is anchored by a large mountain-shaped conference center-hotel complex on the east side of the plot, facing the Grand Canal and connecting to the city with its proximity to the main road," says the firm's press release. "This setting embodies 'water in the front, mountain in the back' - a classic Chinese ideal of harmonious integration of people, buildings and their natural environment."
Elsewhere, the Grand Canal Museum Complex will have an accessible roof area with greenery and walkways. A rainwater management system will be installed and a park and meandering paths will be located next to the building.
The Grand Canal Museum Complex is scheduled to begin construction by the end of this year, with completion planned for late 2023.
Source: Herzog & de Meuron