Project Specifications

  • Project Name: The Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine (TCM)
  • Project Architects: Muda Architects
  • Project Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, Southwest China
  • Project Area: 13,000 sq. m
  • Project Completion Year: 2023
  • Project Typology: Landscape Design, Interior Design, Architecture
  • Head Architect In-charge: Lu Yun
  • Project Owners: Pengzhou State-owned Investment Co., Ltd, Pengzhou Planning and Natural Resources Bureau 
  • Structural Design: iStructure
  • Building Construction: China CSCEC Design Group Co,, Ltd
  • Curtain Wall Consultant: Chengdu Ji li Creative Curtain Wall
  • Architectural Construction Drawings: China Southwest Architecture Design and Research Institute
  • Design Team: Zhan Ziqi, Rong Dian, He Fan, Li Aidong, Xu Jiandan, Lv Chenyu, Fu Yao, Cheng Shiyun
  • Architectural Visual Expression: MUDA Architects, Addiction Studio

Dedicated to the rich traditional Chinese medicine, the Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine inspired by the strong foundational concept of the Yin and Yang explores the relationship between innovation and traditional roots. 

Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine

Sprawled across an area of 13,000 sq.m, the Yin-Yang symbol-shaped museum by Muda Architects is built on a site running along the Huitong lake of Pengzhou. The desired concept is set to bring to reality by blending circular landforms along with water bodies. This match will serve as a strong built form for the New Medicine Museum in China that takes you back in time in order to understand the philosophical derivation.

Falling in the southern part of Pengzhou and being nestled on the primary route to lead to an urban area, the project had to be dominant in terms of its design in order to support the promotion. The Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine thus follows an innovative design language that’s extremely eye-catchy and serves the purpose of enticing visitors towards it. 

Choosing a spherical site for the Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine was a part of the plan that enabled architects to perform an umbrella-type construction on the facade on one of its halves exposed more to heat. The other half could be kept open for a seamless indoor and outdoor blend and reflect the beautiful views of nature. 

Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine

The Yin and Yang symbol has proven to be extremely inspirational for not only complex building designs but also ranging from a simple home design to the design of even a Panda enclosure designed in Copenhagen. The symbol is used to represent the good and bad in the philosophy of traditional Chinese medicines. 

“Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine stresses the harmony and correspondence between humans and nature, believing humanity is a component of the entire nature which is constituted by yin and yang in dualism,” mentioned the design team at Muda Architects. 

This project isn’t an individual structure sitting on a piece of land. Rather it’s a part of a larger scheme that aims at promoting the traditional medicines of China. The entire site of the Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine will be filled with handpicked medicinal herbs.

Spaces enveloped within perforated aluminum panels on the western side are kept safe from the excessive solar heat gain during summers. The adoption of the material by Muda Architects is also a step towards sustainability and follows the Paris Environment Agreement of 2016 by adopting recyclability and eco-friendliness in the design of the structure. 

Tianfu Museum on top of a river next to a forest

The eastern face of the medicine museum in China is kept open with a double-curved glazing system in order to maximize the natural illumination during the daytime. The interiors are well-lit with natural lighting penetrating the spaces with skylights.

The Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine (TCM) opens up to splendid views of the river from its eastern edge. The large glass aids in establishing a seamless relationship of the built environment with the magnificent natural landscaping features on site. One can step into the building through its western entry and experience a temperature difference that’s maintained with the help of punctured aluminum panels. The smart application of this material on the facade allows a cool breeze the fill up the entire structure.

The Yin-Yang symbol-shaped museum doesn’t only resemble the Taiji diagram but is also crafted carefully to reflect upon the structure of Chengdu’s city flower– Hibiscus. When seen from afar, one can witness a lovely view resembling a hibiscus flower floating on a water body. The Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine magnificently merges with the lakeside site context seeming like giant petals gradually unfolding to open up to the natural surroundings. Each petal houses a group of exhibition areas in the museum.

A group of people walking around a Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine

While the basement of the New Medicine Museum in China is designed to accommodate parking and utility areas, it gets extended to connect to an outdoor sunken plaza that is designed with the core aim of hosting various public activities. The ground floor hosts most of the interactive exhibition areas along with the auditorium, entry hall, dining area, and main public zones. 

On one level up to the first and second floors, they come across workshop and exhibition zones of the museum. The outdoor spaces are home to artificial landscaping that will be filled with seasonal Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs in order to showcase and educate the visitors on the same. 

Tianfu Museum of lobby with people walking around

“Our ancestors thought of Yin and Yang as being perpetually complementing and interdependent in a dynamic situation, and they used the Taiji diagram [also known as the yin and yang symbol] to depict such a viewpoint,” mentioned the team at Muda Architects.

“We want to design the Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine with an aesthetic that incorporates opposing forces in harmony and balance. The scheme captures the essence of traditional Chinese medicine and harmoniously incorporates its underlying, antiquated philosophy into the design of architecture, the landscape, and nature from a large-scale perspective, as well as material design, interior spaces, and people from a micro level,” they added. 

Traditional Chinese medicines have marked their presence in society for more than a thousand years proving to be extremely effective not only for physical but psychological disorders as well. It’s a natural approach to curing several health issues with the help of herbal products. The ancestral belief of humans being a part of nature is what’s reflected in the built form of the Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine. 

The amalgamation of architecture and natural landscaping makes the visitors feel like they’re a part of something big. It helps in reestablishing the lost balance between a human and nature. The award-winning firm, Muda Architects works on a diverse platform with projects ranging from landscape design, and interior design, to commercial and cultural architecture. Each project is a product of incorporating the cultural roots particular to its locality, a unique and creative approach, and design sensibilities that complement the theme. 

Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine  with people walking around it

The design of the Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine stands exemplary in terms of its theme and contemporary aesthetics. Although the entire context stays rooted in the native setting and cultural history, the interiors and exterior facade speak a modern language. This modern design is derived from Chinese learning that states to deal with the negatives while embracing the positives. And that’s exactly how the medicine museum in China is planned.

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Tianfu Museum in the middle of a garden on a foggy day
Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine  with a curved roof
An aerial view of Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine
Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine evening view
Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine consturction
Tianfu Museum of Chinese Medicine by Muda Architects


While one half fights the negatives coming in the form of excessive heat gain, the other half embraces the natural picturesque. These two strategic layouts lead to a harmonious design with its solid and void composition. This is further enhanced by building spaces in the solid that gets submerged within the voids of landscaping. Overall, the goal of highlighting the importance of traditional Chinese medicine is attained with this unique architectural concept that brings together human life and nature. 

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