Stunning timber museum designed to resemble ancient eye masks
MAD Architects has revealed plans for a stunning new museum slated for Guanghan, China. The Eyes of Sanxingdui will consist of a series of six interconnected timber-lined buildings that rise out of the water-laden landscape with an unusual overall form that's likened by the firm to ancient eye masks.
The Eyes of Sanxingdui is being created for the Sanxingdui Ancient Shu Cultural Heritage Museum. It will measure 28,650 sq m (roughly 308,000 sq ft), and its overall design brings to mind Santiago Calatrava's Valencia science museum. As well as being inspired by the eye masks, MAD aims to ensure the building takes its place well among the surrounding landscape.
"The Sanxingdui site laid host to a number of cultural relics, including longitudinal bronze eye masks and large bronze standing figures, many of which adopt exaggerated, strange, ornate shapes," said MAD. "After sunset, the six buildings are enlivened as torch-like eyes behind the bronzeware and golden masks of Sanxingdui, uniting the spirits and forms, allowing people in the museum to wander between history and the future.
"During the day, the building's wooden facade echoes the park's natural landscape. The timber structure's large spans allow for open, rich column-free interior spaces inside the building, yielding maximum flexibility for exhibition layouts. Meanwhile, the rooftop skylight provides natural light for the museum."
Visitors will enter into a viewing hall that provides an introduction to the ancient culture of Sanxingdui, before progressing to an underground corridor and the museum's first floor entrance hall. From here, the exhibition halls will host archeological finds dating back up to 4,500 years old and will be connected to each other with glass corridors.
Elsewhere, visitors will be able to walk onto a green roof on the second floor of the building and enjoy choice views of the surrounding landscape, including a nearby park and river.
We've no word yet on when the Eyes of Sanxingdui is expected to be completed.