Xixi Wetlands Art Museum


Location:Hangzhou, China

Located in a rural nature preserve near Hangzhou, the Xixi Wetland  Art Museum will be a destination for both nature and art.  The design respects the surroundings, yet is an innovatively modern expression of humanity and art.  As the centerpiece for the Arts Village in the preservation park, the project is iconic and memorable.  People visit the building to experience nature, art, and hopefully understand more about their own life in the process. 


The concept stems from the interaction between building and nature.  As leaves fall from trees they arrive naturally on the ground.  The resulting form creates shelter against the earth.  This design creates the genuine qualities of fallen leaves and shelter through five buildings that communicate and are connected in a natural method.


The buildings are scattered like five leaves.  Some leaves overlap and attach with other leaves.  One leaf remains separate, yet still unites in visual language with the linked leaves.  No two leaves on earth or identical, so each building has a unique and identifiable form.  The four linked leaves house functions for business, recreation, hotel, restaurant, and reception.  The singular leaf is the art museum. 


The buildings remain low to the ground and then expand upward and outward toward the sky.  This is similar to the manner that a leaf on the ground is folded and gestures towards the trees above.  The smooth and organic form will blend into the landscape and reflect the surrounding nature. 


The building is covered by light colored, reflective zinc panels that have a brushed finish.  This finish creates a diffused and soft reflection of the building’s interaction with people and nature.  This blending influences a person as they experience the museum.  All colors, light, and details merge into a continuous representation that is not recognizable as individual objects, but are distinguished as a uniform and natural image.  Man lives with nature in peaceful coexistence. 


The organic form and ecologically-inspired surfaces create spaces on the inside of the building that are open and comfortably scaled.  This free plan allows for maximum flexibility and adaptability for the user.  The windows and skylights are arranged according to a natural fractal that brings light into the building. This pattern created a quality of light on the interior that is reminiscent of soft filtered sunlight shining through the forest canopy. 


As people experience the project, the buildings and nature blend together into a serene cohesive experience.  


Design Architect: Zhu Pei

Design Team: Zeng Xiaoming, He Fan, Ke Jun, Li Si, Ye Xiaoqin, Jiao Chongxia, Jing Suchun, Zhang Jingwen