THE RAINBOW ART MUSEUM, LOCATED ON THE BANKS OF LIGONGDI AT SUZHOU'S JINJI LAKE, IS A RENOVATION PROJECT THAT FOCUSES ON CHILDREN'S ART EDUCATION AND EXHIBITIONS, WITH ITS ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR AND FURNISHINGDESIGNED BY LYCS ARCHITECTUREARCHITECTS. LIGONGDI IS LOCATED IN THE CORE AREA OF SUZHOU CBD WHICH IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. THE UNIQUE GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION, HISTORICAL PRECIPITATION AND MULTI-CULTURAL "SOUL INPUT" HAVE MADE LIGONGDI ONE OF THE BUSIEST COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS IN SUZHOU. HOW TO RATIONALLY REORGANIZE AND RESTRUCTURE THE FAÇADE AND INDOOR SPACE WITH THE SPATIAL STRUCTURE OF THE EXISTING BUILDINGS, GIVE NEW LIFE TO THE BUILDINGS, AND CREATE A WONDERFUL ENCOUNTER WITH ART IN THE HURRIED CITY BECAME THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF THE PROJECT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DESIGN PROCESS, WHICH IS ALSO A FURTHER EXPLORATION OF THE URBAN REGENERATION BY LYCS ARCHITECTURE.
Louis Cohn said, "Natural light gives character to space and life to architecture. The life of architecture is created by the light that shines on it. Based on this, no space is real unless it gives life to architecture." This is where the designer's thinking begins. Throughout the project's design, it can be said that "light" is involved in creating and reorganizing space. Facing the current building, the designer decided to ensure the integrity of the original building structure while appropriately reducing the rectangular volumes of different scales to form rich spatial forms and layers, creating multi-scale and multi-dimensional introduction spaces for light so that the possibilities of light and shadow and space are infinite.
The existing building has a square structure, so the width and depth of the building are too large. The designer enlarged the original atrium and arranged the functional spaces around it, with the U-glass design at the top to ensure sufficient light. The staircase spanning the three levels is incorporated as the soul of the flow of the museum. It connects all the spaces and is also the most stunning interior installation in the museum.
The design opens up the side gardens on the first and second floors of the south side of the building, providing a spatial flow interface between the interior closed exhibition hall and the exterior light. At the same time, the large area of semi-transparent U-glass on the faÇade replaces the solid wall to blur the boundary between interior and exterior, making the side courtyard space a buffer and transition between interior and exterior, in which the presence of outdoor space can be realized and sensed.
Unlike traditional art museums, the space for children's art displays is relatively more relaxed and flexible regarding environment and light, and its exhibition forms are more diverse. The half-height side court on the west side of the second floor allows light to penetrate through the skylight, creating a strong contrast between light and shadow and the pure white walls as if a flowing "block of light" has been placed in the exhibition hall. Time change brings infinite possibilities for light and shadow, breaks the space frame, and creates depth for space.
The interior light well extends the public space upward, and the light spills out and meets the interior lights. The rich light layers add a bit of dynamism and flair to the space. The design uses two simple but contrasting materials, plain concrete and white paint, to create a visual border between the exhibition and public transportation spaces.
The façade renovation takes the corresponding interior space function as an opportunity to avoid direct light into the exhibition hall space through different forms and scales of window openings and naturally transition the light into the interior to balance the relationship between the strength and weakness of interior light and shadow, to meet the demand for light in different functional spaces, and to let the light and space change through continuous interweaving.
The building faÇade uses two different colors of stone to form a sense of interface composition, strengthening the correspondence between the faÇade and the interior functional space. The windows of different scales and forms include a unique rhythm on the faÇade, and the combination of glass and stone strongly contrasts reality and fiction. The large area of translucent U-glass penetrates the interior and exterior spaces.