Herzog & de Meuron

HANGZHOU, CHINA, 17 December 2019 – Herzog & de Meuron has won the competition for a new museum complex on the river bank of the Grand Canal, an 1800km man-made linear water system connecting China’s north and south. In September 2019, the Hangzhou Canal Preservation & Development Construction Group Co., Ltd. Hangzhou launched a competition by invitation after a prequalification phase. In November, our proposal was selected unanimously over the entries by David Chipperfield Architects and Zaha Hadid Architects.

Situated at the pivotal junction of the Grand Canal and the Hanggang River – the main artery connecting to other large urban development areas in Hangzhou’s north – our project aims to reflect the Grand Canal’s importance in Chinese cultural and natural landscapes, and to create a vibrant, contemporary gathering place at the Grand Canal. Surrounded by water on three sides, the museum itself is elevated by 12m, thus creating extra covered and shaded public space for the people of Hangzhou and its many visitors. The vast exhibition area consists of approximately 50’000 sqm and is organized on two identical floors that can operate independently.

The museum is anchored by a large mountain-shaped conference centre-hotel complex on the east side of the plot, facing the Grand Canal and connecting to the city with its proximity to the main road. This setting embodies “water in the front, mountain in the back” – a classic Chinese ideal of harmonious integration of people, buildings and their natural environment.

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