Pearl S. Buck: Memorial and Museum

Recently Nanjing University’s Architecture and Urban Planning Department has been working on a project to improve and build up the former house of novelist and writer Pearl S Buck. The house she lived in during her time in Nanjing still stands and has become a museum of her time in Nanjing. Adjacent to the building is a cement work shed that has been mark for demolition with the hopes of having a new extension built for the as a memorial and museum.


The grey brick house on the left is the former home of Peal S. Buck

The students project this term as been to design this memorial. We have been asked to include exhibition space, a small shop for souvenirs, a staff area with a kitchen, a small café, and bathrooms. While this project is still underway and my own concept still has a lot of work to be done, I wanted to share what has been done so far.


Something interesting about this project is that I have opted to do it completely by hand. That means I won’t be using Auto CAD and that all the drawings will be pen, ink and marker. I am playing on the artist in mean and hoping that while making this a bit more difficult for myself it will also have an individual look to it that stands out a class of 40 projects.

IMG_0207The site model (m0del number 1)

Besides the various and numerous drawing (plans, elevations, perspectives, etc) we are also building three models. The first was done early on as a group and shows (with no particular detail) the whole site that we are working with, leaving an empty place for the second model. The second model was built during the 3rd week of the project. Each student was tasked to build a model that showed the basic form, structure and spaces within their concept (as it was at that point). Both these two models where built at a scale of 1:200 (a centimeter equal to two meter). I had a lot of fun with this though I don’t know how successful of a model builder I am.


Concept model (model number 2)

The third model is part of the final presentation and I am just getting started on it. It will be at a scale of 1:50 (which makes it pretty big). It is also different because it is cut in half (right down the middle) so that all the parts, layers, materials and structure can been seen. It is going to be extremely detailed but I am really looking forward to building it. It will certainly be a huge test of what I can do with cardboard and balsawood.


I don’t know why but I have always associated architecture school with building models. Of course we do so much more than just that but the models really stand out in my mind for some reason. Below is a close up of the stairs in this model… I can’t wait to see what the finishd 1:50 scal model looks like!




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