Formerly housed in the residence of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom’s Zhong Prince, the Zhong Wang Fu castle complex, the Suzhou Museum has been a fixture in the city’s cultural landscape since it was first inaugurated in 1960. Housed within an iconic structure designed by none other than celebrated Chinese-American architect I.M.Pei the museum moved to its current residence in 2006 when the spacious and eclectically composed building was opened to the public. Spread out over an expansive area of 10,700 square meters the Suzhou Museum houses an impressive collection of Chinese art work that numbers well over 15,000 individual pieces.
Conveniently located at the crossroads between Qimen Road and Dongbei Street the museum structure fits in well with the surrounding buildings of the area which have a decidedly Zhong Wang Fu feel. As the last design in I.M Pei’s illustrious career the venue displays the traits of a traditional Suzhou style garden with modern art elements such as geometric features thrown in for good measure. The design concept for this breathtaking space was stated as “Chinese style with innovation, Suzhou style with creativity” and the museum cum artistic space is a true testament to this idea as a venue that promotes learning and education in a decidedly Suzhou style setting.
A host of ancient Chinese relics are also found at the museum which are part of the museum’s overall collection which includes over 30,000 relics of cultural significance. Some of the museum’s most celebrated collections are of course cultural relics discovered from excavated sites which include ancient arts, crafts, calligraphy and paintings dating back to the Qing and Ming Dynastic periods. The four permanent galleries in the museum are therefore dubbed Wu Pagoda Relics, Wu Treasures, Wu Paintings and Calligraphy and Wu Arts and Crafts. Collections from other museums across the Chinese Republic however are found in the Song Pavilion which has been designed in the style of a Song Dynasty scholarly studio.
Travellers in search of luxurious Suzhou accommodation should look no further than Somerset Emerald City Suzhou for the best long stay accommodation in town. Offering guests an elegantly furnished serviced apartment Suzhou counts among its most comfortable living spaces this stylish rest pulls out all the stops when it comes to contemporary amenities as well.