suzhou museum

suzhou museum

here comes another post overflowing with pictures. the second stop on our suzhou tour was the suzhou museum: we had it on our bookmarks since noticing it on coolhunter. it is designed by I. M. Pei, a suzhou-born architech. he explained his ideas for the museum on the ny times:

He sought to remain true to China’s tradition of courtyards and gardens yet rethink those models. He wanted neither a flat Western roof nor the arched gray tile roof typical of Suzhou.
He found a solution that incorporated the idea of whitewashed walls but eliminated the gray tile roofs, accenting the building instead with gray stone.

“Instead of gray tile roofs, I needed something that would develop volumes,” he said, drawing a diagram on a paper showing an ascending roof pattern. “So I let the walls climb onto the roof. If the walls were stucco, why not the roof?”

The result is a 160,000-square-foot museum that has many of the hallmarks of Mr. Pei’s earlier designs — his squares, rectangles and pyramids — as well as an expansive use of glass and light. It also has traditional motifs, like a large Chinese garden with an artificial pond, a Chinese footbridge and a wall of thinly sliced rocks that yields an image of a series of mountain peaks against an older, whitewashed garden wall.

the result was impressive, intriguing, geometrical, modern yet classical. quite neat, if you ask me, and as a result, we didn’t pay much attention to the exhibitions. :P

suzhou museum

corridor at suzhou museum

staircase, suzhou museum

suzhou museum, fish pond

window detail, suzhou museum

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