Drawing attention with its landscape architecture, China's Wenchuan earthquake memorial museum was built in memory of those who lost their lives in the earthquake that killed about 70,000 people in 2008. The disaster was the country's most damaging earthquake in more than 30 years, so the Chinese Government commissioned the Tongj University Faculty of Architecture to build the museum.
Designed by Cai Yongjie, the memorial museum aims to connect all of the functions while at the same time providing access to the interior of the museum through man-made spaces in the grounds. The plan took the form of a torn earth crust, dramatically angled walls made of steel and a series of indoor-outdoor spaces with seating areas were created.
The entrance to the museum is marked by a public square and a small tower. New trees have been planted on the rest of the land that will continue to grow and develop over time. The building establishes a strong dialogue with the environment, with spaces built underground, green roofs on its hills, lush scenery, rich shades of reddish rusted steel that acts as a visual contrast to the green environmental topography.
The museum was opened to the public on the fifth anniversary of the earthquake in May 2013.
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