Our friends at MVRDV have done it again, winning the competition for the China Comic and Animation Museum in Hangzhou. The speech bubble inspired design is made of eight fantastical balloon shaped sections that form almost 100,000 square feet of museum space. Parks, islands and public spaces make up the space age looking museum, with each of the eight bubbles featuring a different facet of comics and animation.
MVRDV focuses on achieving excellent energy ratings, and the CAM Museum is no different. The sleek aerodynamic design creates even wind pressure, and a lower need for air conditioning. The interior is cooled mainly with natural ventilation and adiabatic cooling. The eight balloons are interconnected, and their circular shape helps air ventilation and flow, keeping visitors cool and fresh.
In recent years, comics and animation have made the jump from children’s entertainment to an adult following and fine art. MVRDV’s speech balloon design is both playful and sophisticated, a representation of this balance. The entire façade is embossed with cartoon renderings that represent a Chinese vase. The speech balloons can even become literal, as text can be projected on the outside.
Each of the balloons house different exciting sections of the museum. One holds the lobby, library, three cinemas and the education center. The permanent collection is displayed in one segment, spiraling chronologically around the oval balloon. An interactive section allows visitors to test out blue screens, stop motion animation and other animation techniques. Perhaps the most alluring section is the 3D zoetrope, in which visitors can interact with holographic projections and games.
Hangzhou is the capital of China’s animation industry, and MVDRV’s innovative museum is a true homage and tribute to the rising relevance and popularity to the animation and comic industry.