In 2008, a massive earthquake hit Wenchuan County in China’s Sichuan Province. Nearly 70,000 people lost their lives and almost 5 million people were left homeless. It was the country’s deadliest earthquake since 1976 and the strongest since the Chayu quake in 1950.

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To commemorate the disaster, the architecture facility at Tongji University was commissioned by the government to build a museum and memorial in Wenchuan to those who died in the 7.9 quake. And as you can see, the end result is as poignant as it is beautiful. Designed by Cai Yongjie, the memorial museum has been created to resemble a ruptured landscape that somehow manages to stand alone while at the same time merging into the landscape around it. It opened to the public in May 2013, on the fifth anniversary of the quake, and it serves as a quiet and thought-provoking testament to a dark period in contemporary Chinese history. (h/t: designboom)