Herzog & de Meuron in Hangzhou

The Mountain and the Water


Stretching a total of 1,776 kilometers, the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is one of the most impressive constructions on the planet and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014, hence the Chinese government’s interest in presenting the history of the infrastructure through a museum complex in Hangzhou, at the junction of the canal and the Hanggang River. Herzog & de Meuron triumphed in the competition that was held for the purpose, carrying the day over David Chipperfield and Zaha Hadid with a scheme based on two natural metaphors: mountain and water. The mountain allusion lies in the shape of the upper part of the building, which will contain a hotel and a conference center; and water is suggested by the large concave pieces of glass on the facade of the long lower volume.

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