With a flowing and organic shape, the new Liyang Museum in China, designed by CROX, is inspired by the city’s cultural heritage and environment.

The futuristic architecture takes its inspiration from a very ancient story, dating back to the times of the Han dynasty, which ruled China from 206 BC to 220 AD. The story goes that Yong Cai, a scholar and officer of the Chinese Empire, heard firewood and sensed its quality and potential, and after pulling it out of the fireplace he made it into a musical instrument. Although this was partly charred, it made enchanting sounds, to the amazement of those present.

 Liyang Museum, Liyang, China / CROX

This instrument, the Jiaoweiqin, is one of Liyang’s cultural symbols and inspired the study to consider the relationship between melody, nature, man, and architecture. Wood is the cladding material of the Liyang City Museum, a structure that seems to float and integrate with the curved forms of the ground. 

 Liyang Museum, Liyang, China / CROX

“From the Asian point of view, architecture is seen as part of the whole of nature, which contains both inner and outer space; space that connects humans, earth and everything in the universe,” said the architects. So a key driver in this design was the connection between inside and outside, both visually, in terms of lines and overall flow, and physically, in terms of access points and routes.

 Liyang Museum, Liyang, China / CROX

Liyang Museum’s top part is a floating architecture that sits on hills. So, the hills become the museum’s bottom. Its organic shape blends and extends into the surrounding land. It feels natural and welcoming. People can visit architecture causally. The entrance plaza is located in the southwest, right under the museum’s floating body. The plaza functions as the museum’s main entrance, connecting and bringing visitors to the museum’s central courtyard. The Central courtyard has its own climate. “We hope it will become a popular meeting spot,” said the architects. At night, the water drop shaped patio sits on the top of the courtyard, acting as an open window to spreading light out into the sky.

 Liyang Museum, Liyang, China / CROX Liyang Museum, Liyang, China / CROX Liyang Museum, Liyang, China / CROX Liyang Museum, Liyang, China / CROX Liyang Museum, Liyang, China / CROX