The Jianchuan Museum Complex comprises more than 30 themed museums, such as the Anti-Japanese War Museum, the Folkways Museum, the Red Era Museum, and so on. Multiple renowned Chinese and foreign architects were invited to design these structures. Located at the south end of the complex, the POW Museum is one of the only independent museums in the world dedicated to prisoners of war.
In the application of architectural “language,” the designers made efforts to make it “neither ancient nor modern, neither Chinese nor foreign, to be able to let guests enter and exit gateways to other cultures, and to be shaped by and yet be free of worldly influences.” The design is modeled on the fissures and cracks formed in natural hill stones under external force, while keeping the building in an upright and right-angled position—to represent the firm and unyielding character of prisoners of war.
▼设计借鉴自然山石方正锋锐的形态，the design is modeled on the upright and right-angled position of stones
▼入口区域细部，detailed view of the entrance area
It was not enough to stop at form only. The architects hoped to utilize both physical and formless means to construct an appealing artistic conception and atmosphere. The 131-foot by 112-foot (40-meter by 34-meter) surface was irregularly cut into the solid (shi) part of the exhibition hall and the hollow (xu) aspect, represented by the reflecting pool, with a walled roofless “prison” yard serving as the transitional space in between. The high-walled passage of the entrance, the zigzagging lines of transit between exhibitions, the twisted space of the exhibition halls, the unfinished concrete wall surfaces, the subdued lighting of the environments, and other features, together with the exhibits themselves, express a thematically suppressive artistic conception and general atmosphere.
▼高墙夹峙的入口通道与陈列照片相结合，the high-walled passage of the entrance with photos and exhibits
▼沉重压抑的展室氛围，a thematically suppressive artistic atmosphere
▼迂回曲折的展览流线，a twisted route of exhibition
▼不加修饰的混凝土墙面搭配压抑的光环境，the unfinished concrete wall surfaces in a subdued lighting environment
▼作为参观路线终点的水院带来抚慰人心的宁静感，the peaceful water yard at the end of exhibition flow
▼平面图和立面图，plan and elevations
Project name: PRISONER OF WAR (POW) MUSEUM OF
JIANCHUAN MUSEUM COMPLEX
Architect’ Firm: CCTN Design
Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead Architects: Cheng Taining
Project location: Anren, Sichuan Province, China
Completion Year: 2006
Gross Built Area (square meters): 10,763 ft2 (1000 m2)
Photo credits: CCTN Design
Other participants (eg. collaborators, clients, consultants, etc):
(in ‘first name last name’ order)
Associates: Zheng Mao’en, Hu Yang