The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab

White steel and mirrored halls form sci-fi themed architectural model museum in China

Wutopia Lab has used over 5,000 white steel pipes to form the structure of The Last Redoubt, China's first museum for architectural models.

Steel walkways connect rooms lined with thin white columns, where the models are displayed on floating white shelves at different levels.

The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab

Designed by for exhibition company Fengyuzhu, the museum is divided into zones with names taken from science fiction films such as the Pod Bay and the Thunder Dome, from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Mad Max respectively.

Fengyuzhu' founder Li Hui found inspiration for the project in the Archi-Depot Museum in Tokyo, the first museum of its kind in Japan, which is located in a former warehouse.

The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab

"When I looked through photos of Archi-Depot, an idea popped into my head," said Yu Ting, chief architect of Wutopia Lab.

"Since the museum focuses on models of various built or unbuilt projects, if we look at these vastly different projects from a macro perspective, and ignore the difference in region and time period, they can form a world together."

The collection was chosen to present architectural visions of the future.

The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab

Originally the intention was to use curtains to define the spaces, but once the steel rods were in place Yu was "deeply touched" by the effect they had on light entering the museum.

The diaphanous effect of vertical dividers is designed to give the sense that The Last Redoubt is one giant architectural model housing scores of models, like a dollhouse.

The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab

The central space – accessed via a corridor called Stargate - is lined with glass at its edges and a ceiling of distorted mirrors.

Around this wraps a ring of exhibition spaces separated by partitions of steel rods that create a complex series of sight-lines and a dynamic play of light through the interiors.

The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab

The Last Redoubt's exhibition spaces operate  at two scales: model and human. At the scale of the models, the structure has ten storeys of cantilevering shelves protruding from the steel pipework walls.

At the human scale there are two levels, with the main exhibition areas at ground level and a mezzanine walkway allowing visitors to see the higher shelves

The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab

In one corner of the museum is the circular Thunder Dome. Lined with white panels and lit by an illuminated ceiling, it is a media hub with virtual reality technology.

"Although I named it the Thunder Dome, it is a peaceful place filled with divine light," said Yu.

The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab

Wutopia Lab's previous projects include a pair of pink and blue houses exploring ideas of masculinity and femininity, and a visitor centre in Qinhuangdo with a striped facade inspired by a nautical T-shirts.

Photography is by CreatAR Images.


Project credits:

Architects: Wutopia Lab
Lead architect: Yu Ting
Project architect: Wutian SUN
Design team: Haixu ZHANG, Ben ZHANG
Construction: Shanghai Maichang Construction Ltd.
Client: Fengyuzhu

More images and plans

Ground floor plan of The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
Ground floor plan
First floor plan of The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
First floor plan
Annotated ground floor axonometric diagram of The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
Annotated ground floor axonometric diagram
Section A of The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
Section A
Section B of The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
Section B
Exploded axonometric diagram of The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
Exploded axonometric diagram
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab
The Last Redoubt: first architectural model museum by Wutopia Lab