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Architecture | Cultural

Museum of Prehistory-Tainan Branch


Project description

The Museum of Prehistory-Tainan Branch was built to house the rich troves of archeological treasures discovered by chance during the construction of the Science Park. Adjacent to the high speed rail, the museum is a block of rough-hewn basalt, articulated with inset aluminum channels. A covered walkway, split apart in four places to admit natural light, leads to a glass-enclosed bar that slices diagonally though the block, dividing displays from offices, storage and conservation labs. Escalators rise to a viewing gallery that offers a close-up view of the high-speed trains that pass by every few minutes. From this glimpse of the latest technology, visitors descend a winding ramp to continue the exploration. The route is punctuated by a courtyard with vibrant yellow walls that frames a square of sky. It’s as though one were descending into the earth, joining the archeologists as they dig through layers of history and make their discoveries. The clarity of the ascent and descent is enriched by the subtleties of orientation, as the bar shifts 19 degrees from the north-south configuration of ancient burials to reflect the city grid of the present day. The Museum of Prehistory links the history with the visitor’s spatial experiences, and creates a journey for people to explore the meaning of time.

Project details
Location:Tainan , Taiwan
Lead designerKris Yao
Photography creditsJeffrey Cheng, KRIS YAO | ARTECH, Shawn Liu Studio
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