Chinese project will be the focal point for 22ha masterplan
Avanti Architects has won the design competition for an industrial museum and creative industries park in Chongqing.
The new museum is the focal point of a 22ha masterplan for regenerating the Dadukou district of Chongqing, the site of former iron and steelworks.
Avanti Architects’ design seeks to preserve the iron and steelworks’ cultural heritage and significance by weaving together a rich tapestry of buildings, spaces, activities and memories, and skilfully reconciling old with new.
The museum is created within former industrial buildings, in particular the main milling plant. The oldest structure on the site, this is made up of a series of sheds interspersed with brick-clad chimneys and a gasometer.
New interventions interact with old features, larger volumes are counter-balanced with intimate, smaller rooms and daylight-filled spaces contrast with ultra-low-light interiors. The museum plan responds to the sheds’ internal features, including cranes, rail tracks, water troughs and floating gantries.
The factory’s original entry point — the ‘workers’ gate’ — is to be retained, with the factory canteen being reused as a tea house.
A new building — the ‘steel bar’ — provides the main vertical and horizontal circulation hub of the new museum. Ticket and information points and a bookshop occupy the lower levels; a library, audio-visual resources and temporary exhibition spaces rise through the building; and roof terraces provide views across the factory roofscape.
The main museum space, the ‘hall of grinding steel’, retains the drama of the steelmaking industry: a simulation of a blast furnace at the centre recreates the manufacturing process. The hall is stratified across several levels and a series of bridges span across the sheds.