Thomas Palmer

Architecture/Architecture (International) (RIBA Part 1) BA(Hons)


Located on a prominent site at the edge of the Dian Lake overlooking Haiyan’s fishing jetty, the Haiyan Natural History Museum seizes the opportunity of this location, in the only village situated lakeside. The museum aims to be the new cultural destination for Kunming, raising awareness of the ongoing climate crisis to promote sustainable practices.

The concept revolves around the understanding of 2 flows, encapsulating the character of a mountainous region populated by large bodies of water. Architecturally these two flows interact, undulating before conjoining, in the same way, the mountains flow down to meet the lake. Inside, visitors enter at the top, in the mountains, and descend through the museum before being delivered down at the lake with panoramic views and an exterior terrace.

The project creates a sustainable exemplar for material reuse and breathes new life into the surrounding area. The facades are constructed from reclaimed materials from a site under 6 kilometres away, Wulong Village. The culturally sensitive roof structure crafted from locally sourced, sustainable timber not only makes an environmentally friendly solution but contributes to a biophilic environment.