While the 2012 Olympic Games are taking place in London, construction of a new green-roofed Olympic museum in Tianjin, China is also underway. Dedicated to former International Olympic Committee (IOC) chairman Juan Antonio Samaranch, the new Samaranch Memorial Museum will feature exhibits to commemorate his legacy as well as the influence of the Olympics in China. Dutch firm HAO and Beijing firm Archiland International designed the museum, which will be surrounded by a lush new park and will feature 5 Olympic-inspired rings, a rooftop photovoltaic system, and geothermal heating and cooling.
HAO and Archiland International won first place earlier this year with their Olympic-themed museum. Working with the concept of the 5 Olympic rings, the firms formulated a plan composed of a two-ring figure eight-like building surrounded by 3 sunken ringed buildings. The first ring of the main building is slightly raised so visitors can walk through the entrance courtyard and into an exhibition space dedicated to the influence of the Olympics on China. The second ring is dedicated to the work of Juan Antonio Samaranch, who was a strong supporter of the Beijing Olympics.
Surrounding the main building are three sunken spaces that provide more space for events and rotating exhibitions as well as administration and research. The museum will be located in a newly constructed park with other symbolic rings representing the 204 IOC members. To minimize impact, the figure eight-shaped museum will topped off with photovoltaic panels to generate up to 76% of the building’s energy needs. Additionally, a geothermal heating and cooling system will reduce energy used for hot water and climate control. Construction began this summer in Tianjin and the project is expected to be completed in 2013.