Lizhuang Museum of Cultural Preservation in World War ll / TJAD Original Design Studio

Architects: TJAD Original Design Studio
Area: 10268 m²
Year: 2021
Photographs: Yong Zhang
Lead Architects: Ming Zhang, Zi Zhang, Bo Chen
Architectural Design: Ming Zhang, Zi Zhang, Bo Chen, Jialong Sun, Guanjie Yao, Xiaoya Zhang, Xiaotong Mou, Longxin Liu
Engineering: China MCC5 Group Co., Ltd.
Structure, Electromechanical, and Bim Design: Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd.
Structural Design: Jiemin Ding, Honglei Wu, Shiyu Wang, Chen Lin, Chaoyi Zheng, Boya Yang
Bim Design: Dongsheng Zhang, Jian Liu, Lingyu Wang, Jingyi Li, Jia Shi, Menglin Xu, Min Jia, Zonghu Lv, Haidong Wang
Technical Economics: Lingjun Zhou
City: Yi Bin Shi
Country: China

Lizhuang Museum of Cultural Preservation in World War II, designed by TJAD Original Design Studio, is located in Lizhuang Moonfield Area in Yibin, Sichuan Province. The museum, situated near the China Academy of Construction and the Yangtze River, integrates modern and traditional elements, featuring a two-story structure that blends with the historic texture of the ancient town. The design includes courtyards, terraces, and a unique roof structure that offers 270° views of the river. The project utilizes BIM for efficient design and construction, harmoniously integrating with the surrounding Sichuan-style architecture.

Lizhuang museum of cultural preservation in world war ll / tjad original design studio

In the early morning of winter, Lizhuang is often shrouded in mist, with distant mountains visible across the Yangtze River. As the cultural center during the Anti-Japanese War, Lizhuang gathered cultural celebrities and people with lofty ideals from across the country. As the sun rises, the mist dissipates, ushering in a new day full of energy.

The project is situated in the Lizhuang Moonfield Area in Yibin, Sichuan Province, near the former site of the China Academy of Construction, on the bank of the Yangtze River. Known as the “No. 1 Ancient Town on the Yangtze River,” Lizhuang Ancient Building Complex includes “Nine Palaces and Eighteen Temples.” The ancient town boasts Ming Dynasty buildings, national cultural protection units like “Spiral Hall,” and provincial cultural protection units such as “Huiguang Temple” and “Zhang Family Ancestral Hall.” Lizhuang’s architectural landscape features southern Sichuan folk houses from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, rich with historical imprints and a century-old culture. The design challenge is to balance new buildings with old alleys, tradition with modernity, and to express the Anti-Japanese War culture through architecture. With these considerations in mind, the aim is to create an architectural landscape that integrates contemporary, local, and cultural features in the Museum’s design.

The design strategy, shaped by the unique aspects of the site, encompasses four key approaches. It addresses the ancient, thousand-year-old street spaces with the “Internalization of the Ancient Town” strategy. The historical significance of cultural preservation from World War II is captured through the “Flowing History” strategy. The local context of traditional southern Sichuan residences is honored with the “Reconstruction of the Tile Courtyard” strategy. Lastly, the “Floating Cornices” strategy is employed to align with the tectonic logic of contemporary architecture.

Lizhuang museum of cultural preservation in world war ll / tjad original design studio

To preserve the texture of the ancient town, the museum is limited to two floors. Using the technique of architectural form dislocation, two small squares are created on the southwest and east sides of the base, integrating the fragmented street spaces and making the site more open and suitable for gathering and interaction. By internalizing the form of ancient towns, traditional streets and alleys with complex graphic relationships are transformed into prototypes of museum spaces. The layout of the museum is inspired by southern Sichuan courtyards, symbolizing the convergence of multiple cultural veins with its design resembling four hands holding each other. The museum’s roof retains the characteristic curvature of local traditional dwellings while incorporating modern architectural elements.

Due to its unique geographical conditions and strong patriotic cultural atmosphere, Li Zhuang has become a hub for cultural endeavors. The goal is to pass down patriotic stories from generation to generation. Following thorough discussions with the exhibition unit, a continuous space of small volume was designed to accommodate a segmented narrative style. The exhibition area is connected by an “8” shaped path, allowing visitors to enjoy river views while exploring the exhibits. The entrance and exit are at the lower part of the building, while the upper part features multiple terraces with excellent 270° river views. In the open exhibition area, four staircases lead to the roof, extending the viewing route. The continuous roof has an open platform where curved surfaces transition into straight lines, offering views of both the courtyard and the Yangtze River in the distance.

Lizhuang museum of cultural preservation in world war ll / tjad original design studio

The second-floor courtyard, the first-floor water courtyard, and the underground bamboo courtyard together form a three-dimensional courtyard structure, providing light and ventilation to the indoor space. Traditional architectural tiles were cut and rhythmically arranged, then embedded into prefabricated concrete exterior panels to create a curved profile. The unique precast concrete slab, with a maximum height of up to 7 meters, reflects the regional cultural characteristics of southern Sichuan residential buildings. Also, these prefabricated components extend from the exterior to the interior, becoming key elements of the indoor space design.

Lizhuang museum of cultural preservation in world war ll / tjad original design studio

From a distance, the detailed texture is not immediately visible but can be perceived, highlighting the building’s solemnity and historical sense. The tiles, arranged in both directions, create a texture reminiscent of sparkling waves, evoking the Yangtze River. Upon closer inspection, the texture becomes clear, and when touched, it feels rough and familiar. To prevent structural columns from obstructing the view of the Yangtze River, the second floor integrates architectural and curtain wall design. The design team used densely packed structural columns to meet the roof’s structural requirements and the facade’s transparency needs. With a 1350mm pitch echoing the prefabricated components of the facade, steel columns with extremely small cross-sections (100×160) serve as vertical structural supports and the curtain wall’s keel. Auxiliary functions such as vertical traffic and equipment rooms, which are key anti-lateral force components, are concealed behind the transparent facade. The overall roof thickness is minimized, giving the appearance of a “floating cornice” from the outside.

The project utilizes forward design with BIM, enhancing professional collaboration efficiency and enabling the precise and timely completion of complex, non-standardized design tasks. This full-process forward design approach ensures that from the project’s inception, all professional work is conducted within a unified BIM system, encompassing design, optimization, and construction. Real-time visualization and accurate three-dimensional modeling minimize the need for modifications. Remarkably, the project progressed from civil foundation excavation to indoor exhibition completion in just 180 days. The Lizhuang Museum seamlessly integrates into the surrounding architectural complex of Sichuan-style tile-roofed dwellings, reflecting the spirit of the place in an introspective, restrained, and unique manner. It preserves the ancient town’s context while offering views of the Yangtze River.

Lizhuang museum of cultural preservation in world war ll / tjad original design studio
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Li Zhuang Gu Zhen, Cuiping District, Yibin, 644009, China

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