05 November 2019
China has built more than 400 museums over the last ten years. Places where people can learn about history, art, photography, architecture, folk traditions, design, music, science and technology. And much, much more. Even millet vinegar. Not everyone may know that millet vinegar is one of the staples of Chinese cuisine. As ancient as it is valuable, this product is definitely well deserving of a space that preserves, presents and perpetuates its tradition. The Millet Vinegar Museum in Zibo, Shangdong province, was designed by Zhanghua Studio for this purpose, but at the same time also to celebrate the bonds that tie it to its birthplace and the surrounding environment. An unusual little architectural gem that strikes a delightful balance between lyricism and modernity.
The shape of the ancient history of vinegar and jars, cans and other containers gives designer the initial design inspiration. The overall shape of the building is a simple cube. The texture of the building facade is like a geological fault section, making the building grow out of the ground, while the grooves on the vertical surface are the marks of the buried ancient containers printed on the cube.
Made from concrete slabs comprised of waste materials, at first glance the facades make the building appear as if grew straight from the earth. Up close, the slabs are each a unique, abstract shape, tessellating together using the Ammann tiling method. Mosaic tiled sections express the vitality of nature, with cracks and lines embodying cracked soil, the veins on the leaf of a plant, and the surfaces of Chinese porcelain vessels.
In the interior design of the building, the design concept of the utensils is also reflected everywhere. The “urn” recessed at the entrance forms a natural rain shed, which also forms a “visual focus” on the facade. Subsequently, the semi-spherical hall brings people into the wonderful space experience.
Light shines through the dome into the interior, and the resulting shadow presents in the shapes of vinegar urn. As the time change, the resulting shadow varies in different shapes of vinegar urn, reflecting the exquisite design idea.