More surprises in Ningbo…

Another day in Ningbo…

To those related to sustainability, innovation, eco or green building designs (even remotely), the Ningbo History Museum has been the talk of the town this year. Completed in 2008, Chinese architect Wang Shu designed and built the museum, and came first place in the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

These professionally taken pictures were downloaded at the Pritzker Architecture Prize website:

So here I was…. standing outside of the Ningbo museum was a striking experience… (My idea of sus-lux does not stop with sustainability and luxury – it should please our senses.) At a glance, it looked like the biggest chunk of rock being chopped into clean, sharp edges. The defined lines made it modern and powerful.
The windows were randomly placed, no where come close to symmetrical (at least to my naked eyes) yet it felt just right. Yes it is a beautiful building, but what’s the big deal?
The museum’s exterior is mainly composed of rubble collected from destruction sites around the region. It was built by local artisans with an authentic local masonry technique called Wa Pan – putting together irregular & ill-fitting shapes of materials. The technique was originally invented by farmers in the region as an adaptation to post typhoon destructions in the old days and obviously such skills is soon to be forgotten.

Wang carefully integrated into his powerful design interactions with the environment, efficient use of resources and preserving local artisan skills. What else can we ask for?

The interior of the museum.

Unfortunately, I didn’t bring any wide lens to capture the museum but in any case, I spent too much time grasping at the sight of the masterpiece. We also needed to rush inside to beat the closing time.

This is my best attempt to capture the museum in my camera. I personally like how there is an extended area of gravel surrounding the building, giving it an additional layer to the overall composition.

Note these following pictures were taken inside the exhibition and were unrelated to Wang Shu.

A walk into the past…

I said: See that’s a wedding ceremony!
Lucy said: Where is the flower girl?
Thank you Wang Shu for your beautiful and thoughtful design. Total respect!!!!

The Ningbo Museum is only one of his sustainable designs. More on his other works:

Ok, next we moved on to please our tummies. Our resort recommended a local restaurant – sure!  I was expecting a… you know, a chinese style local restaurant. The restaurant was expectedly, tastefully built.

This picture was taken on the 2nd floor patio. I didn’t manage to get a complete view of the restaurant only this side profile. What’s more important see the small stretch of farm across the road? It’s where some veggies consumed in this restaurant came from. Living in a concrete jungle all my life this is a pleasing thought – truly zero carbon footprint.
This was the local organic veggie dish across the farm – complementing my chinese white wine (52% alcohol) and some super greeeeeen juice – now this is what I call luxury!

Some more interesting findings tomorrow…. bye!


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