"Extraterrestrial" Space Crystal set to land in China
OPEN Architecture has made a habit of designing extraordinary projects, such as the rocky Chapel of Sound and sundial-like Sun Tower, and this is set to continue with its newly revealed Space Crystal. Likened to an extraterrestrial-like object that's landed in a park by the firm, the crystalline building will host a space-themed museum and exhibition areas inside.
The Space Crystal is one of a pair of new buildings designed by OPEN Architecture for a coastal site in Yantai, China, and will be situated on a hill among some trees. Its striking black exterior will be made up of photovoltaic glass, which works very similarly to solar panels and will help to reduce its draw on the grid by up to 50%, depending on conditions. The structure will also feature a rainwater collection system.
Visitors will move through a cantilevering entrance into a large polyhedral atrium illuminated with natural light from skylights above. From here, a ramp will spiral upwards, connecting to multiple space-themed exhibition areas on upper levels. Finally, at the top of the Space Crystal there will be an outdoor terrace that opens up to excellent views of the nearby coastline.
"Through the gaps in between trees, visitors catch glimpses of an unusual black object perched upslope of a grassy spot," explained OPEN Architecture. "Shrouded with a mystical sheen (photovoltaic glass), its long axis points toward the ocean and the sky, seemingly ready to leap from Earth to Space. The main entrance is located on the southern side, where the building cantilevers out the furthest. The multi-function black-box theater and the cafe can also be accessed from a separate side entry, making them accessible to the public when the museum is closed."
The second project, the Sea Square, will be situated closer to the water. It will make use of the foundations of a dilapidated fishing boat dock and repair facility to create a new building that "floats" above an open square. It will be constructed from glass and locally sourced granite and provide a gathering place for locals, with cultural and leisure programs, including a library, restaurant, coffee shop, as well as hosting regular events and markets.
Alongside the main building, the original jetty and boat repair dock will be restored and turned into a paved public plaza for hosting traditional fishing village festivities.
Both the Space Crystal and the Sea Square projects are currently well underway and are expected to be completed by 2026.
Source: OPEN Architecture