Daniel Libeskind’s Shang Shidong Industrial Museum Twists Steel in China

(Courtesy Studio Daniel Libeskind)

(Courtesy Studio Daniel Libeskind)

The illustrious 19th century Qing dynasty politician, Zhang Zhidong, is primarily remembered for modernizing the Chinese army and for establishing the steel industry in Wuhan. It seems appropriate then that the new Shang Shidong Industrial Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind, should be built in the city of Wuhan. Even more fitting is that the museum, which will celebrate the city’s iron and steel culture, will be built on the manufacturing site of the Hanyang-made rifle and will preserve the famous Hanyang ironworks and Hanyang arsenal.

(Courtesy Studio Daniel Libeskind)

(Courtesy Studio Daniel Libeskind)

The architect’s plans for the industrial museum divide the structure into three levels, each highlighting a different aspect of the steel industry: the Modern Industrial section, focusing on ironworks history, the Heavy Industry section, focusing on military machinery and transportation, and the Light Industrial section, dedicated to advances in water, power, textiles and food processing. Other smaller buildings pertaining to the museum will honor prominent figures involved in the history of the Chinese industrial work force.

The bold design of the building accurately reflects the force with which Wuhan was able to establish itself as a primary manufacturer of steel and iron in China while simultaneously accentuating the city’s promising future. The museum, located in a suburban site surrounded by greenery, is dominated by a thick arching curve that forcefully reaches for the sky. This domineering structure rests on two geometrically shaped structures and is supported by a complex steel frame. The highest peak of the museum offers occupants views of the city while the museum floors overlook the gardens.

The museum is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by the Chinese New Year (January 31st, 2014).

[ Via Designboom.]

9 Responses to “Daniel Libeskind’s Shang Shidong Industrial Museum Twists Steel in China”

  1. SanyoYo says:

    So, a museum dedicated to steel covers up the steel structure? A smarter, more creative architect (i.e. anyone but Libeskind), would have made a feature of the steel structure. This is just another ill-considered, half-assed concept by Libeskind. And don’t get me started on lame rhetoric about the building “…simultaneously accentuating the city’s promising future.” No wonder Libeskind is the butt of so many jokes in the profession.

  2. Drew says:

    The photos of the structure are revealing. Basically it’s a bunch of horizontal slabs with some totally gratuitous curves and diagonals stuck on. In other words, typical superficial nonsense from Libeskind. I feel sorry for the gullible minions who signed up to work on such a phony, non-architectural project.

  3. A.S.T. says:

    “The bold design of the building accurately reflects the force with which Wuhan was able to establish itself as a primary manufacturer of steel and iron in China while simultaneously accentuating the city’s promising future.”

    What does ths sentence even mean? Who is Libeskind trying to fool with this rubbish? And why does A/N uncritically reprint such obviously meaningless and insupportable drivel?

  4. Aidan Rainaldi says:

    From an article dated 15 February 2008 by Rory Olcayto

    Daniel Libeskind has urged architects to think carefully before working in China amid growing concern over the country’s ethical record.

    Speaking in Belfast last week, (February 2008) the Polish-born architect who now lives in New York said: “I won’t work for totalitarian regimes… I think architects should take a more ethical stance.” He continued: “I love Chinese history. I’m a huge fan of Chinese literature and art. But it bothers me when an architect has carte blanche with a site… We don’t know if is there a public process — who owns this place, this home, this land?”

    Libeskind = Hypocrite

  5. Sixty Eight says:

    Do we know which unbuilt project Libeskind copied this ‘design’ from? I’m still trying to figure out where Danny hid the Crystal this time.

  6. Cattrall says:

    From Greek temples to Gothic cathedrals to contemporary buildings by Foster or Piano, refined and carefully resolved architecture is sustained by efficient and elegant structural systems that are beautiful in their own right. This convoluted jumble of heavy steel underscores how bad Libeskind’s “design” really is. It exudes the lack of sophistication and ignorance of its author and of the gooks who developed it from Daniel’s crude and thoughtless concept sketch

  7. Folio-D says:

    Scaleless, curved lump-thing supported on “glass towers” (with freakishly heavy and oversized steel columns to hold up the mess), adds up to another crappy Daniel Libeskind project. Will people ever learn?

  8. Flash says:

    Ugly on the outside. Ugly on the inside.

  9. Richard Brightling says:

    It would appear there is a good level of consensus when it comes to the lack of appreciation for Libeskind’s talent as an architect. We have one and a half of his abortions here in Toronto, both of which are devoid of any level of architectural aesthetic.
    As a professor of poor architecture he is the last person I would want to talk or listen to about creating ideal cities.

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