Buildings which have lives can make the soul of time and place into links. They are bo in the place and reinterpret the place.
Ancient Xuzhou, back to the dynasty of YU, has over 2600 years of city-construction history. The city is warrior fortress with thousands of years of prosperity. In the year of TianQi in Ming Dynasty, the Yellow River was rerouted, floods frequently occurred, and the ancient city was repeatedly submerged. The new city was rebuilt on the site above the old city, which made relics of ancient Xuzhou as “City under City, Building under Building, Street under Street, and Well and Well.”
The City Wall Museum is designed and built on the remains of the ancient city wall which locates on the east side of ancient city’s south gate (QuiGuang Gate). The ancient city wall was the remnant of Ming Dynasty and was buried for more than 600 years. It has become a history narrator and guardian of the urban context. The City Wall Museum takes the ancient city wall as a catalyst to explore the lost context in time, and relive the ancient city''s profound and deep scroll.
The City Wall Museum is designed in mode context. It uses the lost context as the clue and mode spatial construction as the logic to explore the context expression in architectural space.
The Huilongwo Historic District, where the City Wall Museum is located, is the reconstruction of Xuzhou’s traditional residential buildings, streets and lanes.Based on the continuation of the context, the museum should be concise, unobtrusive, and mode, and should not be arrogant.
The museum is launched on the ground level and the underground level at two elevations. The ground floor is the entrance hall and the preface hall, while the underground floor is the exhibition space of city wall context.
The museum''s main entrance faces north. A bridge is designed above the basement courtyard, leading to the Huilongwo Historic District, in order to metaphorical time links. There are three ‘Space’ of the building on the ground floor from south to north, with one in the middle of double-pitch roof, one in the south and the north of flat roof. The forms, masses and proportions of the building follow the shape of the ancient city dwellings, in response to traditional architecture. The space is infiltrated between north and south of the building, and takes the traditional residence outside as the scene, in order to fitting time staggered.
The museum is descended from the middle of ground floor to the underground floor. Following the “City under City” track back to where the ancient city wall is, immersive experience of history review is obtained. The exhibition hall is a long rectangular space in the east-west direction. Partition walls are arranged in a staggered manner to construct a flow space while guiding the flow lines.
Following the spatial streamlines, through the narrow dark historical exhibition space, wall-pier space suddenly occurs. Light from the hanging glass vertebral body sprinkled to the exhibition hall, in order to tell the story of wall-pier and create an atmosphere of brilliance.
Bypassing the wall-pier, the ancient city wall can be seen. As exhibits and space construction at the same time, the city wall redefines the temperament of the exhibition hall as simplicity, vicissitudes, and truth.
The exhibition hall is finally ended in an outdoor garden. On the north side of the garden, the ancient city wall acts as a wall. On the east and south sides, fair-faced concrete is used. The west space of the garden penetrates with interior. A bridge is cantilevered on the east side over the garden and leads a landscape view to the west.
On the ground of the garden, dropped stone steps in multiple folding lines is used to bridge the course of Yellow River, connecting to the waterfalls on the east side of the bridge, which flows along the outer side of the ancient city wall, in order to metaphor the moat flows. Between the inches, it has become a majestic trend. The space in the museum is narrow-long, or bright, or continuous, or pauses, and the state of rhythm is clearly displayed due to the sliced scene of historical time.
Expressing traditional architecture in mode context with mode materials and constructions, to metaphor time staggering and linking, is the original intention of the design.
The museum is constructed with fair-faced concrete and U-shaped glass. The double-slope roof is covered with metal tiles, and U-type glass is used for flat roofs. The design intents to fit traditional residential imaging: The fair-faced concrete corresponds to the clean water bricks of traditional houses. Facade U-shaped glass splicing corresponds to the traditional wooden splicing of residential houses. U-shaped glass in the roof is in line with the arrangement of roof tiles in traditional houses.
The wall of the exhibition hall is completely constructed with fair-faced concrete. Its unique luster and texture renders the deep architectural qualities of the entire building. U-shaped glass reconstructs the light environment of the building space due to its multiple diffuse reflections and moist jade like character.
In the garden, on the approach bridge, the fair-faced concrete is contrasted with the ancient city wall and the traditional residential clear-water brick wall. With three items in one picture, the balance of time and the tension they present are far-reaching.
The splendor of the city finally lost in time. The re-interpretation and continuation of the context is not an oveight task. The City Wall Museum is based on the lost context and considers the relevance and order of space and time. The space experience is bent over, sliced, condensed, and expanded by the time-bound narrative. Non-continuous times are linked among successive spatial experiences. Through the non-continual time tracking of the urban context, the studio re-interprets the ancient city, the ancient city wall and the traditional architectural form, and reconstruct people''s memory network of cities, buildings and history. The continuation of urban context is a re-expression of the region’s time, and it is also a reinterpretation of time in the place. The City Wall Museum rethinks the continuation of urban contexts with tiny space and tiny building as catalysts, to guard historical contexts, and to protect the city and architecture.