Unusual Architecture + [Tientsin]

Tientsin, Cina: [SAMARANCH MEMORIAL MUSEUM BY HAO]
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Juan Antonio Samaranch of Spain was the president of the International Olympic Committee from 1980 to 2001. Throughout his presidency he advocated for reform and inclusion and was a strong supporter of China’s bid as host city for the 2008 Olympic Games.

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Tianjin, a city of over 12 million people in northwestern China near Beijing, was the site of several Olympic events.

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The new museum and memorial will both highlight Samaranch’s professional history and look to the future, offering space for rotating exhibits of contemporary art and culture.

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“With the design of the Samaranch Memorial Museum we propose to merge two existing typologies: the memorial and the museum. This new combination allows the building to both honor the life of Juan Antonio Samaranch while simultaneously creating a place that focuses on the true legacy of the Olympics—creating of opportunities for people to meet and celebrate across cultural and geographical boundaries,” explains Jens Holm, HAO founder and principal.

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The five interlocking rings of the Olympic symbol serves as the foundation for the 25,000 square meter (250,000 square foot) building design.

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By re-arranging the rings and varying the scale, the HAO design creates a museum consisting of two rings above ground with three sunken courtyards.

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The two main rings serve as counterparts in the story of the life of Juan Antonio Samaranch. The first ring invites visitors in through a public courtyard, lifting them onto a circular ramp.

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This ring will house exhibits that speak to the legacy of Juan Antonio Samaranch’s work with the Olympic Committee and the impact it has had on China and the world.

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The second ring encloses a garden and focuses on the life and work of Juan Antonio Samaranch, serving as a memorial to his achievements.

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Together the two rings create a continuous loop taking the visitor through both the exhibition and memorial areas.

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The building design incorporates green technologies, from the installation of energy-producing solar cells on the building’s roof to climate control through geothermal heating and cooling.

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The surrounding 80,000 square meter (800,000 square foot) park features 204 circles representing each of the member countries of the International Olympic Committee.

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The circles contain different program and landscaping, creating a lush and varied park experience.

Unusual Architecture The new museum and grounds are slated for completion in 2013. INFO: Architects: Archiland Beijing, HAO (Holm Architecture Office) Location: Tianjin, China Project Area: 25,000 m2 building, 100,000 m2 landscape Client: City of Tianjin Collaborators: Krag & Berglund, Cowi Beijing