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Museum designed by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami floats on lake in China

16:16, February 8

Japanese architect Junya Ishigami has unveiled his latest project: the one-kilometer long, 20,000-square meter Zaishu Art Museum, which stretches across an artificial lake in Rizhao, China.

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The impressive gallery appears to emerge from the water and "float" on the lake thanks to the repeating column structure supporting its lightweight concrete roof. 

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Glass panels fill the space between each column, allowing visitors to look out over the water during the museum's exhibitions, which currently include a showcase of chocolate-themed artwork.

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“When considering the architecture of China, the country’s vast, boundless landscapes can be a challenge,” Ishigami said. “The question is how to treat the environment and architecture as equals in the Chinese context? How to bring the environment and architecture as close as possible to each other, how to make the boundary between them as ambiguous as possible? These are the themes of this project.”

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Ishigami combines nature with architecture by leaving a small space between the floor of the museum and the surface of the lake, allowing water to flow into the building and cover part of the floor at an angle. 

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Ishigami built a visitor center, under a grass-covered roof, on the shore of an artificial lake. This building has a similar column-based design and is connected to the museum by two pedestrian walkways.


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