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Over the years, a Xiamen-based stone mining manufacture had, through various archeological digs, unearthed a variety of fossils ranging from insect amber to dinosaur eggs.  

To introduce their work to the public, the manufacture integrated a museum, the Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum, into their headquarters: a space dedicated to the history of fossils and the research behind it. Tasked with this massive undertaking was Atelier Alter, an interdisciplinary studio based in both Beijing and New York and no stranger to cultural architecture

Referencing the intersecting nature and repeated patterns of a crystal’s geometry, the studio adapted and integrated its form into the spatial volumes of the museum. Intersecting crystal shapes feature prominently in the atrium, their heavy triangular volumes filling the massive space overhead and enveloping museum-goers in an ambiance straight out of a sci-fi film. These geometric planes cut into the surrounding exhibition rooms and offices, eschewing conventional layouts for something more organic, fluid and cavernous, just like the stone caves that houses fossils themselves. More from the studio’s website.

Atelier Alter Stone Natural History Museum
Atelier Alter Stone Natural History Museum
Atelier Alter Stone Natural History Museum
Atelier Alter Stone Natural History Museum
Atelier Alter Stone Natural History Museum
Atelier Alter Stone Natural History Museum
Atelier Alter Stone Natural History Museum

Photography © Atelier Alter / copyright holders

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