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Elle Decor Italia

Porcelain-centric museum in China unfolds as a teen lovestory

Designed by DL Atelier, SanBaoPeng Art Museum provides visitors with multiple choices and exhibition paths

© Haiting Sun

Zen courtyard blends nature and architecture while welcoming visitors to SANBAOPENG ART MUSEUM. A project by Chinese firm DL ATELIER

“When we are wandering in this museum, we can feel the gentle power of the building, soaked with tranquility and peace”, so Chinese architects Liu Yang and Xu Dang from DL Atelier describe their latest project – SanBaoPeng Art Museum – located in Sanbao village, known as the porcelain capital of China set not far from the Central city of Jingdezhen

“At the very beginning, our interests were more focused on telling stories between artists and their creations than just designing a“me-too” museum”, they explain. “After bouncing off ideas with these artists, we found the relationship between the artists and their creation is sort of romantic, like the feelings of first love between boys and girls, indirect probing, exploring, negotiating and subtle maneuvering. And the transformation in the pottery kilnsis like the process of developing films, it’s full of uncertainties (…) trials and errors, exploration, negotiation between the maker and his/her creation: so it’s not exaggerate to say the relationship is quite romantic. Therefore, when defining the role of our design, we wish to build an interactive space to encourage reciprocal communication between visitors and the space, both emotionally and behaviourally. We attempted to create space with a sense of mystery to trigger diverse sensation or psychological stimulation of visitors. In a wild imagination, architecture can act like A.I. robots to silently communicate with its visitors by its spaces.”

© Haiting Sun

The museum develops linearly on 150 meters, yet the visiting flow is actually nonlinear: multiple choices are provided in order to encourage random interactions between people and spaces and let visitors get in tune with themselves and architecture itself while experimenting with deeply zen environments. Different choices lead to different experiences, and create serendipitous stories between visitors and the building in a mix of discovery, expectation, waiting, anxiety, disappointment and joy.

© Haiting Sun

The continuous loam walls are built in locally sourced clay, and give the impression to erect naturally from the ground. Despite its geometrical design and sharp forms, the museum succeeds to seemingly camouflage with the surroundings and slightly red soil. 

The material palette mainly includes rammed earth and travertine, which will erode by time so to give the architecture a unique, constantly evolving feel as if it was some evocative piece of Land Art.

© Haiting Sun


by Eugenia Murialdo / 23 November 2017


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