The existing Museum of Chinese Science and Technology was opened to the public in September 1988. By all accounts, reading reviews on travel websites, it is tired and in need of considerable updating. Enter BL/KLM architects from Argentina who have won the international competition for a new Centre to be located in the developing Cultural Park near the Olympic Park in Beijing, against strong competition including Zaha Hadid from London.
The proposed scheme is set in a lake, which is increased in size with several accesses including one underwater to the building which is sunk below ground to enable a simple sculptural island form to be created which includes domes giving glimpses below and reflecting water pools which pay respect to Chinese landscaping traditions. The building cleverly uses the water surrounding it to create a sustainable environment.
This will be a fascinating building, with interesting and changing relationships between water, land and reflected sky and between visitors inside and outside the building.
More information can be found here.
Other news, reported in Malaysia, is that Jackie Chan is planning a ‘JC World’ theme park to display ancient Chinese architecture. IIn the 1990s, Chan purchased 10 historic sandalwood buildings that are between 200 and 400 years old. Since then, he has funded their restoration and donated four of them to Singapore University. He had proposed to also donate the other six to the University as well, but apparently a public outcry to keep them in China has led the actor to the idea creating in a theme park to house these and his other collections.