New Delhi, August 30 : Liangzhu Culture Museum in east China's Zhejiang Province, which will showcase early Chinese civilization, will open to the public on October 1, 2008, after four years of construction at the helm of a British architect.
The museum, in Liangzhu Cultural Village in a suburb of the provincial capital Hangzhou, abuts a park characterized by water and marsh.
"The discovery of relics of ancient villages, nobles' tombs with exquisite jade burial artifacts, imperial graveyards, sacrificial altars and large-scale mountain structures in Liangzhu Town marks essential evidence of China's 5,000 years of history," said Zhang Zhongpei, ex-curator of the Forbidden City Museum in Beijing.
Zhongpei hopes that the museum would become a major tourist attraction as well as a catalyst for local relic protection.
The museum, composed of four blocks all with a width of 18 meters but of different heights, emerges as a toy-brick-like sculpture that is visible from a fair distance.
The courtyards in each block are a part of a tour route that links the four exhibition halls.
The museum was designed by David Chipper Field.
The Englishman's works include the glass-skinned Figge Art Museum in the United States and the award-winning National River and Rowing Museum on the banks of the River Thames in Great Britain, among others.
Field refers to his first museum piece in China as a "creature happily bringing visitors into the retrospective world of Liangzhu culture dating back about 5,000 years."
To him, the Liangzhu Culture Museum is "neither shocking nor extravagant," with its main body wrapped up by yellow travertine stones, a kind of rock material rarely found in China, but looking rather "quiet, subliminal and low-profile."
According to Deputy curator Guo Qinglin, the museum would house a collection of archaeological findings from the Liangzhu cultural site.
Among the highlights were unearthed jade wares featuring beautiful patterns, lacquer ware and other objects such as linen products and elephant tusk ornaments.
This demonstrated the advanced social productive force and handicraft-making level of the times.
This prehistoric civilization that can trace back 4,000 to 5,300 years ago received its name from the local Liangzhu Town in 1936.
According to Guo, it is an important sect of ancient culture in the area of Taihu Lake, at the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.