DDB Architects and Sitarch Lab have completed the new Zhou Yao Insect Museum building that mimics butterfly wings, capturing the delicate nature of insects

Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China

Developed by DDB Architects in collaboration with Sitarch Lab, the new Zhou Yao Insect Museum is Asia’s largest insect museum, the design of which draws inspiration from the abstract butterfly shape featured in its collection by adopting the “butterfly triangle” as a prototype and using this shape. as a metaphor for butterfly wings, as a design motif in architectural form and layout.

The ultra-light and delicate characteristics of the insect’s wings are embodied in the parametric gradient glazing of the building’s skin.

The architects created a distinctive form that was not only mimetic but also more in tune with the theme of the museum.

Zhou Yao Insect Museum

Their main concern was to meet the need for modern exhibits, providing a platform for the general public to view exhibits, learn, engage and learn about insects in nature.

The museum is both a thematic museum and a memorial dedicated to Professor Zhou Yao, considered the founding father of Chinese entomology.

Zhou Yao Insect Museum

The spatial organization of the building is defined by the physical conditions of the site.

Thanks to the integrated design of the indoor exhibition space and the outdoor public space, the layout of the entire site was decided, emphasizing the interaction with nature.

Zhou Yao Insect Museum

At ground level, various functions are organized into “butterfly triangles” of varying sizes.

This recreation area, located on the north side of the building, was created by exploiting the 1m difference in elevation between the road and the park to naturally form a series of steps, encouraging various interactions with the space and helping to generate an interior-exterior fusion. live.

Zhou Yao Insect Museum

The land restraint, the maximized use of first floor space and the facade design together create a dynamic overall image for the building.

The design takes advantage of the difference in height to create a 3D butterfly triangle; two full-height circulation spaces — the foyer and the “valley of butterflies” — are created on the sides of the building.

Zhou Yao Insect Museum

The façade facing the city road is light, elegant and dynamic, projecting a distinct urban image; while on the waterfront side, the façade seems to dance, the space integrates with the park and becomes the park stage.

Zhou Yao Insect Museum

The white enameled glass of the facade creates a soft, almost faded effect, forming a sequence of rhythm. In combination with the gradual gradient change of the skin units, it weaves a facade as light as wings.

Through sophisticated parametric design control, the curtain wall components and divisions between curtain panels are successfully concealed within the glazed patterns.

Zhou Yao Insect Museum

Project: Zhou Yao Insect Museum New Building
Architects: DDB Architects and Sitarch Lab (Sidi Architecture)
Main architect: Zhepeng Xu
Project Director: Qingyi Ma
Design team: Ying Zhao, Zixuan Huang, Wenyu Guo, Yaying Zhou, Sheng Jiang, Caixuan Lin and Rongyao Xu
Construction drawing design: Ningbo Urban Construction Design & Research Institute Co.Ltd.
Curtain wall design: Zhejiang University Architectural Design and Research Institute Co.Ltd.
Customer: Ningbo Yincheng Group Co., Ltd.
Photographers: Qingyi Ma