Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum

Atelier Alter Architects


The Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum sites at the office headquarter of a stone manufacture in Xiamen, a coastal city in Southern China. Over the years of stone mining, the manufacture has established a private archaeological team and discovered numerous fossils, from insect amber to dinosaur egg. The manufacture decides to dedicate the atrium along with the first and second floors of the headquarter and convert it to a fossil museum to house their archaeological finds. The museum gives a new definition to industry. It presents a new model for manufacture to upgrade to an “industry + culture” mode. The project transforms the principal of stone dissection, which is specific to stone mining, into a spatial division mechanism, to cut the cubical space accordingly. Besides that, the geometric logic of crystal is also introduced as a way to tight the irregular spatial parts together. The orthogonal office space is transformed into a mysterious triangulated space. As the heavy mass floating up, the anti-gravity space places the audience in an unknown space seemly coming straight from a Sci-fi film.

The project sticks to only one architecture element—the wall—to keep the consistency and authenticity for the project. With the consistent architecture language, the project construction is simple and straightforward: with light-frame and gypsum board laying underneath as the sub-structure, the project uses double layers of concrete panels as the surfacing material for the interior space, to create the calm and coolness of the stone cave that houses the fossils.

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