Sarawak Museum Campus

The Government of Sarawak intends to establish a Museum Campus in Kuching to enhance and unlock the potential of Sarawak’s rich cultural heritage. Utilising the existing Sarawak Museum  site, this 2013 competition entry explored ways of improving the interconnectivity between the different museums scattered around the older parts of the city, creating a network of museums that not only enables the visitor to explore the unique historical & cultural trails of Kuching city.

The Design Concept is inspired by the Orang Ulu concept of the “Tree of Life”. The Tree of Life is a universal concept that exists in many cultures. Symbolically the Tree of Life is a manifestation of the belief that all things in the World are interconnected, and our wellbeing depends very much on keeping the balance in this interconnected web of our existence.

This competition entry focused on the New Museum that improved the linkage with the existing museum, a colonial-style building from the bygone Brooke era. The Tree Trunks or Drums become the main exhibition spaces connected by walkways that are designed to be translucent, allowing natural light to penetrate into the space but at the same time protected by an outer porous screen that is tattooed with the cultural motifs of various ethnic groups in Sarawak.

Ample public space in the New Museum becomes the main interface between the museum and the public, and allows informal connections to be formed. It encourages interaction that otherwise may be hindered by the requirement to formally enter the museum spaces which may be otherwise out of bounds. The public spaces can also serve as cultural spaces for events, gatherings and temporary exhibitions.

 

Location:
Kuching, Sarawak

Project Team:
IDC Architects & Interns