Architecture firm Hassell has won a competition to design the public realm for the Fangshan Tangshan National Geopark Museum in China.
The competition was organised by Nanjing Tangshan Construction Investment and Development Company.
Situated 40km east of Nanjing, the museum’s 15ha of public open space is geographically significant as it is the site where some important archaeological discoveries have been made.
Hassell said the design proposal must address the commercial interest of the tourist park while respecting and celebrating its natural, historical and cultural importance.
The architecture firm’s proposal includes a new museum forecourt, a gateway parkland and a series of themed landscapes embedded with interpretive narratives of the major archaeological features of the region, including the nearby Nanjing ‘Ape-man’ Caves.
After completion, the gateway parkland will be linked with the geopark and surrounding urban area.
The architecture firm has optimised the site’s existing topography to establish patterns of movement and access between the public and private functions, as well as integrating the park’s design with the surrounding transport infrastructure.
Sustainable features of the project include creation of micro-ecosystems to support specific plant growth and a waterway system.
The museum is one of a number of public realm projects that Hassell is currently undertaking in the Nanjing region.
The project is expected to be completed by August 2014, when the city will host the Youth Olympic Games.
Image: The museum’s 15ha of public open space occupies a geological area within the national park. Photo: Courtesy of Hassell.