OPEN architecture envisions a digital space museum & seaside library in yantai, china

OPEN architecture envisions a digital space museum & seaside library in yantai, china

oceanfront cultural buildings by open architecture

 

OPEN Architecture unveils the design of two oceanfront cultural buildings in Yantai, China. The first one, Space Crystals, is a digital space museum and experience center—an extraterrestrial-looking object landed mysteriously in the clearing of a seaside park. The second building, Sea Square, is a humble square-quad-shaped library and community service building floating on a restored square dock by the sea. The dock and the adjacent area were once used as both a dock and a repair facility for fishing boats but were long abandoned as the fishing villages vanished into history. The two buildings form a dialogue in space and time, one pointing to the sky and the other to the sea, connecting current, past, and future.

OPEN architecture envisions a digital space museum & seaside library in yantai, china
Space Crystals | all renders © OPEN Architecture

 

 

SPACE CRYSTALS is a Digital Space Museum & Experience Center

 

Situated at an oval clearing of a woody seaside park, the Space Crystal by OPEN Architecture (see more here) is a digital experience center dedicated to deciphering the mysteries of the universe for the public. Visitors catch glimpses of an unusual black object perched upslope of a grassy spot through the gaps between trees. Shrouded with a mystical sheen (photovoltaic glass), its long axis points toward the ocean and the sky, seemingly ready to leap from Earth to Space. Entering from beneath the cantilever and after being compressed by the entryway, people arrive at the central atrium — a 20-meter-high polyhedral void. Eyes are immediately drawn upwards by natural light gently cascading down from above. Light bounces around on the polygonal surfaces, rendering the otherwise monolithic white planes into countless shades of varying gray, subtly changing with the passing time and changing weather.

OPEN architecture envisions a digital space museum & seaside library in yantai, china
a digital space museum and experience center designed as an extraterrestrial-looking object

 

 

The atrium also functions as a central public space organizing all the life inside the building and an exhibition space for large hanging objects and digital projections. Surrounding the atrium and encased in between polygonal shells on either side, a ramp spirals upwards and connects various exhibition spaces. The upward movement and carefully curated immersive experience gradually lead visitors into the deep universe’s wonders. A bright-colored stair provides a vertical shortcut for people who may want to skip the normal sequence of exhibitions. Unexpectedly and dramatically, at the very top of the spirals, an outdoor terrace opens up to a scenic ocean view, bringing wandering minds back to the blue planet and its majestic sea and sky. It’s the architect’s hope that the whole experience will help people connect our very existence in relevance to the vastness of the universe.

OPEN architecture envisions a digital space museum & seaside library in yantai, china
a bright-colored stair provides a vertical shortcut

OPEN architecture envisions a digital space museum & seaside library in yantai, china
atrium space

OPEN architecture envisions a digital space museum & seaside library in yantai, china
museum café

open-space-crystals-sea-square-designboom-full-3

deciphering the mysteries of the universe

 

SEA SQUARe features a Library and Community Service Center

 

While trying to locate a specific site to build a seaside communal service building, the architect discovered the ruin of a fishing boat dock and repair facility—a square platform with a jetty projecting far and down to the ocean, embedded with metal tracks for pulling boats in and out of the water and into repairment positions. Although long abandoned and dilapidated, the concrete foundation and the dock remained useable, and their very existence made it possible for a humble building to be integrated into the site. Thus came the idea of the Sea Square – a quad building floating above a square by the sea.

OPEN architecture envisions a digital space museum & seaside library in yantai, china
Sea Square

 

 

A third square was introduced later—a small square platform near the jetty’s tip for people to get close to water. Together, the three squares and the jetty form a lively gathering place for the locals, connecting the nearby urban community to the sea with a series of vibrant cultural and leisure programs, including library, restaurant, coffee, shop, and beach services, as well as various events during weekends and traditional holidays. The architect decided to keep a very light touch and to bring back the lost memories into the future. The jetty and the boat tracks on it will be restored to their original state. The serenity of the jetty diagonally disappearing into the water will be kept, with nothing beyond except for the ocean and the sky above. The jetty connects the current to the past and the future.

OPEN architecture envisions a digital space museum & seaside library in yantai, china
a lively gathering place for the locals

OPEN architecture envisions a digital space museum & seaside library in yantai, china
daylit library

open-space-crystals-sea-square-designboom-full-5

a small square platform near the jetty’s tip

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