Chinese Earthquake Memorial, Yingxiu, China Building Images, Proposal, Project

Yingxiu Memorial Museum : Chinese Earthquake Building

Yingxiu Museum building in China design by Sutherland Hussey Architects, Scotland

14 Aug 2008

Chinese Earthquake Memorial Building

Location: Yingxiu, A’ba, China
Sutherland Hussey Architects / Pansolution International


5.12_During the earthquake as the rock fell from the mountains and the buildings collapsed the atmosphere was engulfed with dust, the light disappeared and it was difficult to breathe. These extreme conditions intensified the feeling of fear and confusion when the need to find family members and help others was a priority.

In contemplation of this a space is created using reflective pools of water to capture and reflect the eternal light of the sky.

Yingxiu Memorial Museum, Chinese Earthquake Building


The space is orientated North in alignment with the pyramidal mountain that is positioned as the backdrop to Yingxiu. This ordered visual connection sets up a direct relationship between the human psyche and the planet.


To heighten the experience of the contemplative space it is set within an abundant garden – a new park on the hillside which encourages new growth after the devastation.

Contemplation Space

From the entrance a shadow wall slightly screens the space, which the visitor moves around before walking alongside pools of water which reflect the sky. The gateway ahead, in the middle of the space, connects with the backdrop of mountains while the visitor can also relate to the tragedy as everlasting names can be inscribed on the memorial walls.

At the end of the walls the visitor moves out into the contemplative space at the end. This space is cantilevered over the hillside to let the visitor float above the town below.

From this point a ramp drops between the reflective pools of water arriving below the structure at the entrance to the museum.

Museum Spaces

The Yingxiu Memorial Museum is split into two tiers with a less formal higher level exhibition which circulates around larger exhibition halls below.

This circuit also allows access to a courtyard of native plants, perhaps exploring a correlation to the devastation of the natural environment of flora and fauna so widely visible by the massive amounts of landslide and rock fall.


The Yingxiu Memorial Museum is very much conceived in three parts which reflect the past, the present and the future. It is intended to closely relate to elements of life within the region both before, during and after 5.12.

The sequence and depiction of events illustrated in the architecture has been abstracted and distilled into simple elements to allow the visitor to contemplate and understand the complexities of the situation but to also allow clarity and depth of thought within each space.

Sutherland Hussey Architects

Chinese Earthquake Memorial Museum images / information from Sutherland Hussey Architects, Edinburgh

Location: Yingxiu, A’ba, People’s Republic of China

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Chinese Earthquake Memorial architects : Sutherland Hussey

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