Geology Museum + Research Center by lee+mundwiler architects to open this spring
Los Angeles-based design studio lee + mundwiler architects have shared their latest civic scheme with WAN as it draws to completion on the coast of Shenzhen. Located across the water from Hong Kong on the Dapeng Peninsula, the Geology Museum + Research Center features a pair of volumes connected by a sheltered courtyard.
The design of the complex was inspired by its location on a peninsular sculpted by volcanic eruptions dating back 135 million years. After years of volcanic eruptions, the land has been moulded into a plethora of unique rock formations which are now the focus of guest researchers within a protected Geological Park.
Visiting academics are invited to use the 2,800 sq m Research Centre which faces the nearby bay. The larger of the two volumes is a 6,200 sq m museum which is open to the public, educating visitors on geological issues.
lee + mundwiler architects directly reference the rocky surroundings in the architectural design of the Geology Museum + Research Center. The form and texture of the buildings allude to the rock formations found in the local vicinity while the façade structure enables moss and lichen to grow across the exterior, further rooting the volumes into their context.
The architects explain: “Nature’s powerful force is still fully evident yet its pristine environment seems visibly vulnerable as it is only a matter of time before the pristine environment is slated for development. The gradual process of ‘nature reclaiming’ is the approach, as the building was designed to as a direct response to these natural forces of reclamation.”
One can also note a reference to the narrow streets of a nearby village in the angular forms. The clean lines and sharp edges employed throughout the design are a direct reference to the winding streets found nearby which, lee + mundwiler architects explain, ‘evoke the feeling of tension and mild expectation of what will be waiting at the end’.