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After digging up a significant number of amber-encased insects and other preserved remains during its stone-mining operations, Yingliang Stone Group set out to build a dedicated place to display its unique collection. The company decided to convert part of its office in Xiamen, China, into a museum. To transition a third of the building from commercial offices into cultural institution, Atelier Alter Architects devised a reno centred around a dramatic, cave-like atrium. Concrete-clad gypsum boards slice through this open space and into the new first- and second floor galleries like sharp-edged stalactites. Some serve to bounce light down from the rooftop skylights; others act to buffer the workspaces still present on the office floors above. Dinosaur egg fossils might be the building’s star attraction, but its monumental architecture quickly proves to be a lasting wonder of its own.

Location Xiamen, China Firm Atelier Alter Architects, China Team Yingfan Zhang and Xiaojun Bu Photos Atelier Alter Architects

People’s Choice: Commercial and Institutional
Yingliang Stone Natural History Museum

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