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Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

China Architecture News - Sep 30, 2020 - 13:32   3899 views

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Chinese architecture firm Studio Zhu-Pei has designed a museum with giant brick vaults, made of recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Imperial Kiln Museum in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi, China.

Named Jingdezhen Imperial Kiln Museum, the museum, covering a total of 10,370-square-metre, addresses to Jingdezhen's historical past. 

Located in the center of a historical area, the site of the Museum is adjacent to the Imperial Kiln ruins surrounding with many ancient kiln complexes. 

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

The architects used monumental vaults as a space that allows visitors to pass from one to another, while experiencing the history of the city throughout their journey. 

Jingdezhen is known as the "Porcelain Capital" in the world because it has been producing pottery for 1,700 years. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, Jingdezhen exported a huge amount of porcelains to Europe.

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Studio Zhu-Pei

Jingdezhen was growing naturally fitting in the valleys surrounding rivers, hills, and mountains because of the porcelain industry. The early settlements of the city developed around kiln complexes which included kiln, workshops, and housing. 

The street pattern was generated by nature and the porcelain industry. Most of the small alleys in between kiln complexes have always approached to Chang river in order to transport porcelain products to the river, the main streets have always been along with Chang river to bring all businesses and commercial together.   

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Studio Zhu-Pei

The museum is situated on a fairly restricted historical area adjacent to the east side of the Imperial Kiln ruins, the plan of Imperial Kiln Museum was aligned with the north-south street grid of Jingdezhen, with its entry, water pools, bridge, facing west, embracing the open file of Imperial Kiln Ruins, welcoming visitors from Imperial Kiln Relic Park and public pedestrians to be wandering through the forest under the green canopy, going through the bridge, flowing into the foyer of the museum.

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Fangfang Tian

The complex comprises more than half a dozen brick vaults base on the traditional form of the kiln, each of the vaults is of a different size, curvature, and length. 

They were naturally applied to the site, carefully integrated with many existing ruins including a few ruins that were found after the construction.

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Studio Zhu-Pei

"The unparalleled, linear, and arched structures of the museum, like old kilns, reach below the level of the street to not only give the flexibility to adapt itself into the complicated site, but also achieve an intimate scale of interior space," said Studio Zhu-Pei.

"This strategy - in part also a response to the height of surrounding historical buildings - leads to productive ambiguity in relation to the building’s horizontal datum." 

"The “insertion” of the building into the ground of the site produces a series of public spaces at street level; also, more importantly, it allows for the design of a number of more intimate open vaults, and courtyards within the museum," the studio added. 

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Studio Zhu-Pei

Most of those public spaces are covered under shaded, protected from rains because of hot and rain a lot during summer in Jingdezhen. One of those open spaces, two open vaults sited in both ends, will also reveal the traces of the historic fabric on the site.

When one walks on the bridge and enter the foyer, and then turn left, you will pass a series of arched exhibition spaces lightly varied in size and with contradicting openness (enclosed or open to the sky) to encounter a gentle stair, in the end, flowing down to the underground level with five sunken courtyards.

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Studio Zhu-Pei

Meanwhile, visitors can obtain a three-in-one (kilns-porcelains-people) museum experience when they see those porcelain, ruins, and sunken courtyards which create manifold layers' experiences with ancient bricks on the façade.

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Studio Zhu-Pei

As they turn right at the foyer, visitors will respectively pass the bookstore, cafe, tea room and finally reach a semi-outdoor area under the arch, witnessing a picturesque scene: in daytime surfaces on these arches reflect the waves of water while low horizontal gaps tempt people to sit down on the floor to see the long horizon of the imperial kiln ruins, without expectation. 

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Studio Zhu-Pei

A similar surprise would be created when they see the Longzhu Pavilion of the imperial kiln ruins through the vertical seams when they are on the way to the auditorium before accessing the foyer.

The studio designed five sunken courtyards varied in size and they have a different theme: gold, wood, water, fire, soil. "Those five themes not only reflect old Chinese thinking about the earth but also associate with porcelain making techniques," as the studio highlights. 

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Studio Zhu-Pei

The overall experience of the museum tries to rediscover the roots of Jingdezhen, to recreate the past experience among kiln, porcelain, and human being.

"I was fascinated by the local ancient kiln tectonic and material. Looking in the past, craftsmen built the brick kiln without scaffolding in a very special way," said the architect. 

"Thin and light brick kiln achieved a maximum interior space with minimum materials, the brick kilns appeared in organic forms reflecting heat flow from the one end to another." 

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Studio Zhu-Pei

The basic structure of the museum is an arch structure system, it is made up of concrete poured in between two layers ‘masonry brick walls. There is a small arch to be layout perpendicularly to connect two arches. 

The studio used recycled kiln bricks to build the house and all kind of buildings is a significant character in Jingdezhen because brick kilns have to be demolished for every two or three years in order to keep a certain thermal performance of the kilns. 

The entire city was covered by recycled kiln bricks. Those bricks record a warmth, inseparable from the lifeblood of the city. In the past, the children would take a warm brick from the firing kilns to place in their schoolbags to keep warm the whole day in the freezing winter.

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Studio Zhu-Pei

The materials of the museum are dominated by bricks, recycled old kiln bricks are mixed with new bricks together to reflect the local culture of construction. 

This interweaving of two different historical phases proposed by the combination of new and old bricks must arouse interest, curiosity, create new questions and give new answers by interacting with the mind of people who inevitably evoke memories and enjoy a unique experience. The past cannot be erased but rewritten by recounting a new awareness and maturity, a sort of contemporary archeology.

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Studio Zhu-Pei

The visitor can have a 360-degree sensory experience through the repeated contact between exterior and interior that stimulates the touch, smell, hearing, and sight and transports the visitor into a sort of trip between past, present, and nature.

Even the light evokes active and tangible memories and is the proof of how ancient techniques can be reinterpreted and reread in a contemporary key. 

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

The interior natural light is achieved by both skylight and sunken courtyard, inspired by smoke holes of the ancient brick kiln, the skylight in hollow cylinder shape are distributed on the top part of the arch to provide natural light in the day time and artificial light in the night time.

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Fangfang Tian

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Image © Schran Image

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Site plan

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Underground floor plan

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Underground floor plan

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Section


Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Axonometric plan

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Axonometric drawing 

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Sketch

Studio Zhu-Pei designs giant vaults from recycled old kiln bricks to form Jingdezhen Kiln Museum

Model view 

Project facts

Project name: Jingdezhen Imperial Kiln Museum

Architects: Studio Zhu-Pei 

Location: Jingdezhen, Jiangxi, China

Size: 10370.0 m2 

Date: 2017-2020

Design Principal: Zhu Pei

Critic: Zhou Rong

Art Consultant: Wang Mingxian, Li Xiangning

Project Team: You Changchen, Han Mo, He Fan, Liu Ling, Wu Zhigang, Zhang Shun, Shuhei Nakamura, Yang Shengchen, Du Yang, Chen Yida, He Chenglong, Ding Xinyue.

Structural Consultant: Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tsinghua University

MEP Consultant: Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tsinghua University

Landscape Design: Studio Zhu-Pei, Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tsinghua University

Exhibition Design: Studio Zhu-Pei, Beijing Qingshang Architectural Ornamental Engineering CO., LTD.

Interior Design: Studio Zhu-Pei, Beijing Qingshang Architectural Ornamental Engineering CO., LTD.

Curtain Wall Consultant: Shenzhen Dadi Facade Technology CO., LTD.

Lighting Consultant: Ning Field Lighting Design CO., LTD.

Acoustic Consultant: Building Science & Technology Institute, Zhejiang University

Client: Jingdezhen Culture Broadcast & Film & Television & News & Publication Administration, Jingdezhen Ceramic Culture Tourism Group

Top image © Schran Image 

All images © Studio Zhu-Pei, Schran Image, Fangfang Tian

All drawings © Studio Zhu-Pei

> via Studio Zhu-Pei