factory under re-view
Industrial museum in Liuzhou
Located in an old factory, the museum combines the existing structure with contemporary elements. An elevated path connects the buildings and a visit to the museum culminates with impressive views from a new roof terrace from which undulating landscape of Liuzhou, a city strongly transformed by industry, can be contemplated.
Building area: 62000 sqm
The city of Liuzhou is located in southern China, in a fertile valley on the banks of the river Liu. Its history has been influenced by continuous development. Historically, this development was linked to the exploitation of resources, mainly wood and cotton, while today is the driving force of the Guangxi province. The region has become a center of machinery production, metallurgy and the automobile and chemical industries.
This spot is strategic, not only for being close to one of the main arteries of the city, but also because the landscape surrounding the building has a high value to be protected along with the conversion of the old structure. The proposal for the industrial museum is based on an analysis of the existing buildings, the cataloguing of the elements to be preserved, and the preparation of a discourse, which is intended to incorporate an urban park in the occupied and unoccupied area of the plot.
The three main buildings will be transformed into the principal parts of the program: a permanent exhibition, a temporary exhibition and administrative and leisure adjoining services. This metamorphosis intends to maintain the factory’s identity, converting them into neutral volumes whose façade is composed by simple openings homogenized with a single material. In contrast to the sober treatment of the existing elements, new contemporary elements are added with an intrepid and unequivocal sense.
Steel angular shapes become a lightweight structure, unfolding and connecting different spaces, embracing the three volumes and providing a unifying image of the whole.
The main volume, used for machinery in the old days, is drilled on the interior to house a central atrium around which visitors can move and view the showrooms. This high-rise space becomes the heart of the museum and is the reference point and the entry point, which articulates the internal pathway.
If the former industrial parcel was a confined space with limited access, the new museum opens to the city like a green lung. Landscape elements are used to mark the trace of the missing buildings and the zones in between the new volumes contain urban squares.