Xiao Qinghe Wetland Museum

Design:  2014-2015

Construction:  2015-2016

Location:  Ji'nan, Shandong, China

In our abstraction of the wetland landscape, we were interested in the moments both seen and unseen. When navigating the terrain, the wetland vegetation can be deceiving. With emerging and floating vegetation, the ground plane can seem continuous, but drop without a corresponding visual disconnect. What can appears to be a continuous ground plane can be scattered with moments in which the soil and walkable surface sinks below the waterline.

In a cross between architecture, landscape, and sculpture we look to recreate this wetland intersection between waterline and ground. Challenging the typical relationship between roof and floor, we partially submerge the museum underneath the ground plane. Covered by a subtle green roof, the visitors approach is only marked by three sets of undulating sculptural mounds. Appearing smaller than it is the mounds seem to grow as the visitor is pulled closer into the interior. Reaching a maximum height of 4 meters, the scaleless quality of these soft sloping forms creates an environment that is natural yet still some surreal. When the visitor reaches the foot of the sculpture, they realize it its base reaches past the ground plane through openings in the grass field.