Architecture Design Option Studio — The Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, China

The Jianchuan Museum Cluster in Anren, China consists of more than 18 separate buildings - with 12 more underway - and houses the largest collection of national treasures in all of China. The 8 million pieces of culturally-significant artifacts cover a vast range of topics, including some of the most sensitive exhibits in the mainland today. The breadth of this collection is staggering, and its ambition demands a continual and rapid accumulation of objects. The curator of this collection seeks a solution to the interminable problem of this rapidly expanding collection; he needs museum quality space, at the lowest imaginable cost, that can be rapidly expanded and reconfigured.

This options studio proposes to study composites, plastics and other recent innovations in material and constructive systems in service of this contradictory set of demands: a fast, cheap and light museum for delicate things. This methodological bias toward material research will include several scales of prototype and mock-up, culminating in a 1:2 scale test of a deployable module or system, and full-scale wall sections. These proposals will then be presented to the Jianchuan Museum Cluster curator, with the possibility of further proposal development in the summer. The department of Architecture has generously funded the studio to augment the material studies and experimentation.

Projects in 4.154

Spring 2011