Former industrial limestone kilns turned into a geomuseum in China

/ Architecture /

Several decades ago, it was decided to turn the limestone mountain of Pugong in Hinan Province into a powerful industrial complex, as it was the site of a limestone deposit that needed to be processed.

To burn lime, several hundred shaft-type kilns were built there. After the country began implementing environmental protection policies, the structures were closed permanently and the area turned into an abandoned and neglected zone, writes Archdaily reports.

The site and its buildings are now being prepared for use again, but instead of harming the environment, the kilns will now serve as a cultural and educational center to promote the concept of sustainable development. The local authorities decided to set up a thematic museum based on the project by Professor Li Baofeng's Studio of HUST.

This is what the abandoned industrial furnace complex looked like before its transformation. Photo: Yilong Zhao

This is what the building looked like after its "reincarnation". Photo: Yilong Zhao

The project involved combining the new building with the existing ones, as well as using several furnaces as an entrance group - the iconic gate of the geopark. An observation deck was created on the roof of the mine, and the central building was built in the area where ash was traditionally generated by burning.

The entrance group (inside). Photo: Yilong Zhao

The interiors of the building. Photo: Yilong Zhao

At the entrance to the museum, the architects preserved the original brick staircase for supplying materials, so that the mine pit, the dilapidated gypsum kiln, and the brand new museum form an organic whole. 

"To emphasize the old industrial furnace, we deliberately weakened the shape and color of the museum, "hid" it behind the furnace, and "pushed" part of the exhibition space into the ground, reducing the height of the museum compared to the furnace," the architectural studio says.

Landscapes and architecture that breathed life into an abandoned industrial zone. Photo: Yilong Zhao

The limestone, which was once unable to be fired due to the closure of production, has become an element of the landscape, which can be viewed through observation windows and platforms in the appropriate places in the museum building.



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