Qujing Culture Center

By Kirsten Kiser

Qujing Cultural Center, Atelier Alter
Atelier Alter Architects
 

The Qujing Culture Center, situated by a man-made lake in a newly developed district of Qujing city, contains some of China’s oldest and most precious artefacts.

One of its collections even dates back to the start of life on earth:

Two impossible miracles co-exist in the city of Qujing: the Longyan Tablet and a fish fossil over 400 million years old. While the Longyan Tablet marks the invention of a prominent calligraphic style, the fish fossil rewrites geology in human history. The archaeological relics are both metaphor and subject matter of the project.
— Atelier Alter

The main entrance, located on a vertical plaza, is defined by processional steps and a mirroring suspended roof. The graduate suspension of the enormous roof is designed to offer an “anti-gravity” feel that reflects the stairs below.

The strong presence of the void reinstates the gravitas of the museum’s subject matter, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the immensity of space and time the city occupies. One end of the museum rests on a plinth, giving the impression it is floating.

Instead of assimilating into analogies of the site – terrace field, fossil grain, or calligraphic strokes – the formal expression of the architecture is in dialogue between the concrete and the abstract, the familiar and the unfamiliar.
— Atelier Alter

Country and City

Qujing

Architect

Atelier Alter Architects

Built

2015