Case Study of Architect Christopher Lee


1.0 Introduction

Christopher Lee is an immigrant designer from Malaysia. He was born and raised in Taiping Perak. He graduated with AA Diplona ( honours ) from AA. Lee completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Architecture and Urbanism from the Berlage Institute and TU Delft. His favourite designers are Rem Koolhaas, Kazuo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. Chris Lee is the laminitis of SERIE ARCHITECTS based in London with his spouse Kapil Gupta. The house ‘s undertakings now span all over the universe with committees in India, China, Eastern Europe and United Kingdom. SERIE is known for their theoretical position that emphasizes the survey of edifice typologies and their development.

The selected edifice to be discuss in this paper is Yan ZhenQing Museum which located in Linyi, Shandong Province, China. The museum is set on a hilly site with 8,265 square metre in Linyi. Yan ZhenQing was an of import calligraphist during eighth century who lived in Shandong Province in China. The museum house a aggregations of the calligraphist ‘s plants. In his calligraphic book has strong kernel of perpendicular element.The designer use the local civilization and the calligraphist ‘s character into the architecture.

The purpose of this paper was to analyse the external contributing factors that affect in design schemes of the museum and its theories of architecture that applied in the design. The impact of clime, theories and societal civilization towards the edifice were investigated through a series of diagrams.


2.1 Climate

Linyi has seasonal fluctuation clime with overheating hot, humid summer and underheating cold, dry winter. The clime affects constructing orientation, size and place of fenestration and facade stuffs. Yan ZhenQing Museum is placed on a series of three patios that rise somewhat above the topography that merged closely with the terrain of site. Each degree of patio contain marquees that placed following to each other along the terrain to minimise the E and west facade country in order to cut down the heat addition during the hot summer season. When the marquees are set following to each other, shaded countries are created between the passage infinites so the visitants feel more confidant with the environing landscape.

At the exhibition marquees, the aggregations of artefacts are protected from direct sunshine. The solution is to make high ceiling with fanlights for the marquees to present natural daytime indirectly. The fanlights are unfastened up at the West like a paper tossing up from the surface. The daylight strength inside the edifice will alter throughout the twenty-four hours when the place of the Sun changed to enrich the poetic feeling in the museum. The marquees are largely cover up with solid wall with merely a few gaps. This is to forestall heat loss during the winter clip.

The agreement of the marquees in a random mode like turn overing dies have high potency to capture more air current. Besides, it allows more air current to flux through the surrounding from multitude way. In comparing, edifice blocks that arranged in bunch mode restricted the air current to flux around the marquees. The marquees rise somewhat harmonizing to the topography besides helps to maximise the air current gaining control during summer as they did non blocked by opposite marquees.


The interior layout of Yan ZhenQing Museum strongly reflects the ancient Chinese penmanship composing. The infinites were divided orderly into a grid mode even the orientation of the marquees do non emphasis on the orderly subject of the Chinese penmanship composing. Yan ZhenQing ‘s calligraphic book besides composed in a regular book. The designer wants to make a minimalist infinite with a simple layout to heighten

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the focal point on artefacts within a infinite. The exhibition hall can be define as a pure content and clear boundary line infinite with soft natural illuming from fanlight which allow the visitants to prosecute with the aggregations of art plants in a more poetic feeling. Furthermore, the reading subject of Chinese book besides influence the circulation of the museum. The Chinese books are read from right to go forth. So, the museum ‘s human circulation flow besides tour the visitants from the right to the left and across the marquees. The marquees were designed into a perfect square to reflect the Chinese regular book which is wrote in a regular column. The frontage of the marquees are fluted in a perpendicular manner to make a rhythmic form which similar to the calligraphic book perpendicular sequence. The form besides comparable to the traditional Chinese houses ceramic roofing tiles to offer a more cultural ambient to the museum.

The spacial planning of the museum besides similar to the traditional Chinese Scholar ‘s Garden and Chinese Courtyard House which the most private infinites and cherished objects are ever placed at the deepest terminal of the edifice. In a bookman ‘s garden, an entryway hall for welcoming the visitants is the most public topographic point and following by several marquees and gardens before reach the heavenly hall. Celestial hall is a sacred topographic point that carry out ceremonial related to the sky or Eden. For the Chinese courtyard house, chief room was located at the deepest terminal of the house whereas the amah ‘s suites are placed at the. Yan ZhenQing museum besides apply the same rule by puting the artefacts at the last patio of marquees to tag it as the most of import topographic point in the museum. Ancient Chinese urban planning besides planned in a grid system and use same spacial planning. Imperial castle was placed at the in-between terminal of the metropolis and surrounded with the citizen with the separation of streets.

In Yan ZhenQing museum, colonnade act as the threshold that connect the marquees and the gardens. In traditional bookman ‘s garden, marquees besides joint with colonnade to move as a threshold to link a infinite to another new infinite. The planning of the museum has adopted many local traditional civilization into the architecture.

2.3 Theory

Critical regionalism provides architecture that meet the footings with modern and tradition. Chinese architecture has strong influenced by local civilisation particularly when planing museum. From the overview of Yan ZhenQing museum, particularly from the program of the undertaking, the construct of the museum someway similar to the traditional Chinese courtyard house. Traditional Chinese courtyard house had a front courtyard before come ining the secondary gate and a chief courtyard located in the center of the house to move as public infinite for the large unit. The courtyard becomes a infinite that nexus and keep the secondary infinites together as a whole construction. Yan ZhenQing museum has several courtyard gardens to emphasize the construct of local civilization. The courtyard gardens are set in between the marquees to work as public infinite for the visitants. The traditional courtyard house was walled to hold privateness and security intent. Yan ZhenQing Museum besides framed up by the long colonnades to give a clear boundary to the site.

Yan ZhenQing Museum is nestled among the hills far off from the pandemonium of turning cities. In sing the harmonious of nature, the museum was designed in straightforward signifier to keep a cloistered quality, to intermix with the environing landscape. The marquees are rise somewhat following the terrain to do it look likes a portion of the landscape, set on the same plane with the terrain. The edifice ever has a clear boundary that lifts the edifice from the landscape to handle the edifice as a landscape and the feeling of walking along a garden way. Traditional monastery and garden besides nested far off from the bustle metropolis to accomplish a healing and brooding topographic point.

Yan ZhenQing Museum besides has a great influence by modern architecture manner. The construct of the museum besides accent on the perpendicular and horizontal elements. The long colonnades that framed the marquees show a series of horizontal boxes from the program position. The extraneous form of the marquees has a really straightforward with its stuffs used with 90 grade at each borders. The marquees merely clad with ceramic tiles to convey out simpleness of the edifice that coherent with the echt aggregations of Yan ZhenQing calligraphic book which displayed in the marquees. Other than that, the intent of merely utilizing one stuff is to stand out the exhibit work instead than overpowering the infinite by the architecture.

The frontages pattern mimicked the bold perpendicular shot of calligraphic book, and the roof line of the marquees and colonnades accent on light horizontal elements to equilibrate the nature. The frontage of the marquees are really simple and clear with its borders. Modern architecture stress on the simpleness of signifiers and extinguish unneeded item on the edifice.

The combine of signifiers into beautiful wholes is one definition of architecture. ( Colin Davies,2011 ) . The museum was called as a whole constructing merely with including the courtyards and colonnades. The plans of the museum was collected by courtyards and colonnades. Visitors will travel through these courtyards both horizontally and vertically. The response and stores of the museum are located at the lowest patio, and the visitants will travel up to a patio with instruction and public installations, and make the exhibitions at the top degree. The colonnades serve as the chief circulation of the edifice and besides as a threshold for each marquees. When the visitants move along the colonnades, it show the horizontal circulation whereas when the visitants move from courtyard to courtyard, it is foregrounding on perpendicular motion.

In another position, the museum is broke down into several blocks and arrange on different axes instead than a individual block like general museum. The gardens are enclosed within the asymmetrical infinites between the extraneous marquees, the program of the museum show the deconstructivism architecture. The fragment agreement leting the nature to contrast with architecture. The architecture of the museum is to show its withdrawal in the landscape and bordering the nature as a mention point on the site. The interior exhibition infinites besides divided into smaller extraneous infinites. When the marquees are shifted at different angle, the visitants come ining a new marquee from another marquee will experience new to the infinite as it is non a common agreement like the old one. Most of the exhibition suites are designed with high ceiling with fanlight, lit up the room with soft natural sunshine. The place of the interior sunshine beams besides varies. The in-between marquee has a brighter room if comparison to the another two next marquees. The fanlight of the in-between marquees are confronting straight to the eventide Sun. The design purpose is to offer the visitant a more broad screening of the work displayed with different angle of natural visible radiations and shadows. The overall scene of the marquees create a more poetic ambiance to the museum by deconstructivism architecture.


The purpose of this paper is to analyse the factors that affect the architecture of Yan ZhenQing Museum. The clime of the site affects the design of the edifice in footings of edifice orientation and fenestration. Sunlight is the most critical impact that impacting the design of the edifice. Skylights are used alternatively of window due to the protection of the aggregations in the marquees. The museum in China might portion the same features with other edifice, but architect demands to understand the civilization of the local context, and use the construct suitably with grounds. Christopher Lee says, “That is, you take the most common and do them special.”

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