JINGDEZHEN, China — One of the architects who worked on building’s for Beijing’s Olympics in 2008 has a new project that honors the tradition of porcelain in Jingdezhen.
Studio Pei-Zhu, named after its founder, states that the Jingdezhen Historical Museum of the Imperial Kiln, set for construction in 2017, honors the ancient porcelain hub by fashioning itself after a giant pottery kiln.
“… China and the special structure of kiln have been branded across the hearts of local people for thousands of years. The vault structure of the museum is an abstract of (a) traditional kiln, in combination with the sleekness of china. With a few twists and cuts, the museum is made as a hand craft form, natural and yet full of life.”
The site is located between the Imperial Kiln and Xujia Kiln and many workshops that date back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. It has to perform a balancing act between tradition and urbanization. It’s modest, but the studio notes that the museum will break from the more modern buildings around it. The studio hopes this will start a dialogue drawing from porcelain’s impact for the city.
“Thriving on its chronicled production of china for many great centuries, Jingdezhen has had Imperial factories for multiple Dynasties. (Porcelain) production speaks for the highest standards of quality of china. Surviving today but obsolete, the Imperial Kiln relic stores great history and stories untold. Vaults of the museum reflect unearthed relics, with half of its volume remaining underground. It creates connections, both physical and spiritual, between aboveground and underground; present and past. The museum guides visitors into kilns, to ruins, and back to the traditions and culture of local history. The form is simple and primitive, yet full of strength. In silence and light people are encouraged, by the honesty of architecture, to feel the history and culture. We expect visitors will have a chance to rethink the relationship between this city and its kilns, its past and its future.”
Pei Zhu, one of the leading Chinese architects, received his Master degree in Architecture both from Tsinghua University and UC Berkeley, according to his biography. He founded Studio Pei-Zhu in Beijing in 2005.
In 2006 and 2007, Pei Zhu was commissioned by Guggenheim Foundation to design Guggenheim Art Pavilion in Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim Museum in Beijing. His built works include Cai Guo-Qiang Courtyard House Renovation (Beijing, 2007), Digital Beijing, Olympics Control Center (Beijing, 2008), OCT Design Museum, Minsheng Museum of Modern Art (Beijing, 2015) etc. He is currently working on Dali Museum of Contemporary Art, Tai Miao Art Museum in Beijing, Himalaya Culture Center in Tibet, Yangliping Performing Arts Center.
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