Comic and Animation Museum by MVRDV


Comic and Animation Musuem by MVRDV

Dutch studio MVRDV have won a design competition to build a Comic and Animation Museum in Hangzhou, China, formed of eight giant balloon-shaped forms.

Comic and Animation Musuem by MVRDV

Each balloon will contain a different function within the museum, including two exhibition spaces that will display cartoons, comics and animations.

Comic and Animation Musuem by MVRDV

The permanent exhibition space will spiral out of its chamber and on through the building to connect with three auditoriums and a comic book library.

Comic and Animation Musuem by MVRDV

Where balloons touch an opening is created internally, allowing views between spaces.

Comic and Animation Musuem by MVRDV

More projects by MVRDV on Dezeen »
More museums on Dezeen »

Here are some more details from the architects:

MVRDV win competition for China Comic and Animation Museum, Hangzhou

Hangzhou urban planning bureau has announced MVRDV winner of the international design competition for the China Comic and Animation Museum (CCAM) in Hangzhou, China. MVRDV won with a design referring to the speech balloon: a series of eight balloon shaped volumes create an internally complex museum experience of in total 30.000m2.

Comic and Animation Musuem by MVRDV

Part of the project is also a series of parks on islands, a public plaza and a 13.000m2 expo centre. Construction start is envisioned for 2012, the total budget is 92 million Euro.

Comic and Animation Musuem by MVRDV

Comics and animations have long been considered a form of entertainment for the younger generations but develop more and more into a sophisticated art form. The initiative for a museum especially for this relatively recent art form creates a platform which will unite the worlds of art and entertainment. By using one of the cartoon's prime characteristics - the speech balloon - the building will instantly be recognised as place for cartoons, comics and animations. The neutral speech balloon becomes 3d.

Comic and Animation Musuem by MVRDV

The 30.000m2 are distributed over eight volumes which are interconnected allowing for a circular tour of the entire program. Services such as the lobby, education, three theatres/cinemas with in total 1111 seats and a comic book library occupy each their own balloon. If two balloons touch in the interior a large opening allows access and views in-between the volumes. The balloon shape allows for versatile exhibitions, the permanent collection is presented in a chronological spiral whereas the temporary exhibition hall offers total flexibility. Amsterdam based exhibition architects Kossman deJong tested the spaces and designed exhibition configurations which appeal to different age groups and allow large crowds to visit the exhibition.

Comic and Animation Musuem by MVRDV

One of the balloons is devoted to interactive experience in which visitors can actively experiment with all sorts of animation techniques like blue screen, stop motion, drawing, creating emotions etc. The core attraction of this space is a gigantic 3D zoetrope. The routing of the museum permits short or long visits, visits to the cinema, the temporary exhibition or the roof terrace restaurant. The façade of the museum is covered in a cartoon relief referring to a Chinese vase. The monochrome white concrete façade allows the speech balloons to function: texts can be projected onto the façade. The relief was designed in collaboration with Amsterdam based graphic designers JongeMeesters.

Comic and Animation Musuem by MVRDV

Most of the 13.7 ha site is occupied by a new park on a series of islands in White Horse Lake. Reed beds are used to improve the water quality. Boat rides offer an added attraction. A separate expo building of 25.000m2 will house large fairs and the annual China International Comic and Animation Festival (CICAF). In-between expo and CCAM a public plaza will be the centre of this festival which is the county's largest cartoon and animation event and has been held annually in Hangzhou since 2005.

Comic and Animation Musuem by MVRDV

Hangzhou is a metropolis with 6.4 million inhabitants 180 km southwest of Shanghai. The Museum will become a new focal point on the less populated southern side of Qiantang river. The CCAM will consolidate the city's leading position as China's capital of the animation industry. The new Museum will be the icon of a larger development, the Comic and Animation Centre. It comprises a series of hill-shaped buildings containing offices, a hotel and a conference centre of which the first phase is close to completion.

  • Welcome to the future… :)
    I love it!

    • dodo

      Future? it kind of reminds me of the past, I'm just hoping our future does not look like this thing.

  • This is odd, but the application seems fitting..I question however how successful the museum would be. Animation and digital arts applications tend to thrive in the digital environment, as do the users and creators- this is a primary online community. Does that community or the art type itself want to be housed in a "traditional" museum application? I think this is a missed opportunity for a progressive and innovative digital environment to be architected to accommodate a museum application. It is fascinating to look at though!

  • Adrian


  • para mí hacer un edificio dedicado al cómic en forma de edificio manga, es como hacer una clínica óptica en forma de gafas, o un estadio de fútbol en forma de balón… hay que superar la forma, ya!

  • looks like victor vetterline's anime and manga stuff @

  • samuel

    It looks like a elevation from the digestive system. And I absolutely agree with jaume.

  • everything will be just dandy until the aliens hatch…

    • GoSu

      LMFAO :D
      Still, you're right… That's exactly what it looks like!

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest…

  • Concrete

    MVRDV to me represents the best and the worst architecture the Netherlands has produced. Many of my favourite buildings – bold form as a result of clever logic – but also this kind of shockingly horrible formalist nonsense.

  • koka


  • Katsudon

    Please don't! Not in Hangzhou!
    I can see from here the empty bubbles remaining cold because only filled with lame and meaning less exhibitions…
    And from outside, it's just another of those fuckthecontexture.
    Could be funny but not here man!

    • häli

      yes the buildings, which already are there.. are already with bad quality and totally empty — China is building many ghost-cities…

  • flytoget

    Well. What can one say… This really is a cartoon.

  • Steef

    Welcome to Snorkland

  • I agree with concrete. It seems hard to keep reinventing program all the time.

  • Graham

    Roger Dean will no doubt be interested!

  • Julian

    It is comic without a doubt…….problem is, you want to laugh with, not be laughed at.
    Have these gaggle of "in" firms no shame at all?

  • Nickolas

    owie, my poor heart. i love some of your older buidlings

  • Nicole

    Looks like a bunch of hemorrhoids. Fortunately a hardly known trouble in China because of their eating habits, so it won't be recognised easily.

  • Jonhy

    MVRDV is not doing well. That's not experimental architecture, it's just a lack of creativity. Does it have any kind of structure at least?
    I hope they don't build this thing, it's just a waste of money.

  • yrag

    It looks like great fun!

    I'm just stunned that China has SO MUCH money that they can afford to build a huge expensive museum solely for Comic and Animation!

  • cemilyrun

    Does China NEED, does Hangzhou WANT this museum?

  • architcl

    lets not blame the poor architects for this. Who are the ones who picked the design in the first place? wondering what do other entries look like?

  • archi

    Wow… just like Dragonball cartoons design! Where architecture will go…

  • John

    The design concept is clearly gruesomely flawed

  • Brigitte

    The irony/paradox of networks and creativity online is that the stronger it becomes the more need there is for physical meeting places. Its exciting to think of entirely new programmes for the city based on these new digitally based activities.