Composed of three distinct fluid forms, each represents inspiration from the three Chinese calligraphy strokes: the thick ink, the half-dry and the smearing, the Palace Museum Southern Branch will present itself as an ink-dark, sensuous sculptural form sitting within the surrounding green rice and sugar cane fields. The three forms also contain different functions: due to sensitivity of natural light level for the artifacts, the solid form houses the curatorial department and exhibition halls; the glass-and-steel “void” volume facilitates museum lobby, café, library and administration offices; the third smearing stroke flows through intersecting solid and void forms, linking various spaces with smooth circulation pattern.
Visitors arrive at the gate of the museum site will have a glance of the main building across the lake. After crossing a curved pedestrian bridge, which is an integral part of the architecture design, one would pass under the glass volume and arrive at a tranquil bamboo courtyard before entering into the museum building. In the grand lobby, large glass curtain wall frames the views of the lake and landscape. A grand stairway gently rises up and leads visitors to the orientation room where the glass volume hits the solid volume as the exhibitions unfold.
The exterior of the solid form is composed of more than 36000 pieces of cast aluminum “disks” attached to the curved surfaces, depicting ancient bronze dragon and cloud patterns using modern digitized design. As the sun moves, the reflection from the disks will reveal a “moving” dragon in the clouds on this uniquely designed façade.