Blog / Architectural Designs / Zaishui Art Museum on a Lake, China

Zaishui Art Museum on a Lake, China

Japanese architect Junya Ishigami has unveiled the one-kilometre-long Zaishui Art Museum on an artificial lake in China, which features openings that let water flow over the museum floor. The 20,000-square-metre linear museum extends from one side of the lake to the other, almost covering the entire diameter of the lake. Ishigami wanted the Zaishui Art Museum to feel like it was emerging from under the lake. "The most difficult part was building the length of the structure itself, which is a kilometer long; we had to take into account wind and temperature and, of course, being atop the water," the architect admits.









Parallel columns rise from the bottom of the lake to support a thin concrete roof with a subtly undulating shape. Glass paneling was inserted between the columns to give visitors views of the lake, with Ishigami intentionally leaving gaps where the building's floor meets the surface of the lake. This allows water to flow into the building, submerging parts of the floor. In winter, whilst the water surface will freeze, the water underneath remains liquid and will continue to flow into the interior. The architect’s design ensures stability and safety all year round. ‘The water is controlled by a gate, keeping it on the same level across all seasons.









In parts of the museum building, the roof opens up to the sky to introduce the surrounding nature into the building. Across from the museum, Ishigami designed a visitor center concealed under an expansive grass-covered roof. Like the Zaishui Art Museum, the visitor center features a glass facade supported by columns and has a wide opening on the side facing the museum. Two walking paths on either side of the museum's one-kilometer-long body connect it to the shore. According to the studio, the building can be adapted to accommodate various types of exhibitions, as well as retail concepts, in the future.










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