Invited by Excellence group from Shen Zhen in April 2010, EMBT designed an exhibition space celebrating one of China’s most prominent modern artists. Being the artist’s hometown, Neijiang is trying to promote itself through his art. The museum is to be built on peak of Dong Tong Lu, Yuan mountain, a site conveniently resembling  Zhang Da Qian’s main thematic inclinations in painting.

Conceived as a cluster of exhibition rooms, the design emulates the physiology of mountain tops, as if following Zhang Da Qian’s short brush strokes and swirling patterns. Laminated bamboo structure generates organic forms both shielding and directing the light inwards. The construction elements are used in a custom way and play a crucial part in the overall architectural imagery.

Far beyond simple mimicry, the design evokes Chinese traditional pagoda by successfully avoiding quotations. It establishes a dialogue between cultural essences of east and west, which, yet again, refers to the master’s artistic attitude. EMBT’s signature roof is also discreetly  inserted into the design. It makes  it distinctive, yet prevents the impression of repetitiveness.

Much like Zhan Da Qian himself, EMBT architects  pay  scrupulous attention to materials. Whether it’s wicker, ceramics, metal or wood, the material’s potential and it’s use are given a whole new dimension. Some of the finest physical models out there, meticulous in detail, but never failing to represent the main tectonic vision, come from inside the EMBT’s laboratory.

A childlike playfulness permeates EMBT’s architectural oeuvre. Zhang Da Qian Museum is no exception.

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