The Fangshan Tangshan National Geopark, near the city of Nanjing, is a geological and paleo-archaeological marvel. This geological museum can be found in the beautiful valley between Tangshan and Fangshan, two volcanic mountains.
Not only does the museum reveal a 700-million-year slice of earth’s geological history, but the discovery of ancient hominid remains in a cave here in the 1950s sparked worldwide speculation about the early origins of mankind.
Fragments of skulls belonging to an extinct hominid species known as Homo erectus nankinensis, or Nanjing Man for short, provide the centrepiece objects for one of the museum’s galleries. The genuine 600,000 year-old male and female skull fragments (discovered locally in limestone caves) provided inspiration for some sculptural pieces including a design representing the evolution of man and some giant chrome skulls.
We produced design concepts for a number of core galleries in this 4-storey, 23,000 square metre new-build museum with our partner, Sino-Lord Cultural Engineering Co. Ltd. We led the way with interpretive planning and concept designs for six gallery spaces and sculptural features for the main entrance lobby. Our lobby designs were adopted as the main brand identity for the museum and the Geopark.
Across all the galleries and spaces, we developed a strong design language that reflected the geological and paleontological subject matter, with bold structures being used to house display casing and interactive elements.