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Brewery Museum in Qingdao, China (Thesis 1998/1999)

By : Ho Man Ching, Gordon

This project is a proposal for a brewery museum located in an urban historical area of Qingdao, a well-known holiday resort in China. It was a German colony and also famous for its historical by-product, Qingdao Beer. Unconstrained by typical functional “museum” requirements, the proposed museum complex intends to revitalize and transform the old political centre of the city into becoming a new recreational, entertainment and tourist hub. The design program consists of cultural, administrative, recreational, commercial and tourism activities. Merging with the traditional city context, the design of this expanded museum is a foray into contemporary building techniques which achieve spatial excitement. It symbolically reinforces the city’s strong brewery culture.

Tutor’s Comments
Open building thinking was applied here in mainly two aspects. First, in relation with its surrounding context, the museum is interpreted as an enclosed, multilevel, public plaza. It challenged the traditional attitude which sees the museum as a monument, artwork, or celebrated ego-object juxtaposed against a submissive context. Second, it rejected functional separation and hierarchy in its form and organization. The three major activities of the museum, display, promotion and entertainment, were contained in fragments of three different design typologies. These fragments were interlocked and mixed together in the layout, coexisting everywhere throughout. Visitors would enjoy a simultaneous mixture of surprise, excitement and expectation. The experience is both physical and imagined.

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