Ordos Museum is located in the new city centre of Ordos. Driven by a booming economy, the Municipal Government of Ordos were determined to create a new city, dozens of kilometers away from the current city, on a site that until recently was nothing but the Gobi Desert. The urban masterplan drew on a symbolic image of “The ever rising sun on the grassland”: a rigid and precise series of urban landscapes radiating from a central plaza.
Chairman Mao once said: ‘only on a clean sheet of paper can the newest and most beautiful picture be drawn. ‘
On a tabular rasa, where the future holds great uncertainty, it is quite dangerous to design a building for the city center, where the urban grid is inferior and still exist only as a pattern due to its urban prematurity. The Ordos Museum needed a protective cover, where the interior is protected from the ‘city’. Inspired by Fuller’s Manhattan Dome, the Ordos Museum was designed to be the new irregular nucleus for the new town, to encourage the history and culture of Ordos to extend further into the future. The design of the museum was conceived as a reaction to this city plan. It takes the form of a natural, irregular nucleus in contrast with the strict geometry of the masterplan. The structure is enveloped in polished metal louvers to reflect and dissolve the planned surroundings. This shell will enclose a new interior, forming new public space for the people to come.