Li Shizhen Memorial Museum

The Li Shizhen Memorial Museum was established to both look backward and forward: to honour the work of its namesake, a Ming Dynasty-era innovator in traditional Chinese medicine, and give the public an up-to-date understanding of Chinese medicine under the banner of ‘culture, nature and health’.


The brief

With the 500th anniversary of the birth of Li Shizhen approaching in May 2018, the museum sought to considerably update its approach. Everything from the look of the 3,100 square metre interior to its features, displays and technology would be rethought and revamped to create a more immersive, engaging and appealing learning experience for visitors – and young visitors in particular.

Hubei United Investment Group selected Pico to oversee the most vital aspects of the project, including extensive integrated design and renovation work and overall project management. Completion before the anniversary on 26 May was an overriding priority.


Design, construction and installation work was extensive and encompassed much of the site. The original, soaring period architecture was retained but enhanced by replacing a clutter of display counters with carefully inserted new interactive technologies and wall-based displays.

Notable new features include a specially shaped projection that gives exhibition items a dynamic, living look, an immersive 4D cinematic experience about Li Shizhen and Chinese medicine, and interactive medical displays of various animals on the surrounding walls. With their curiosity built up by the edutainment experience, young visitors can learn more at the new, child-sized ecological enquiry desk.

In addition to the work on the museum, the team executed design and renovation of the gallery of Li Shizhen’s life and the museum of medicine, redecoration of the exhibition venue, designed new signs and logos, and installed equipment and software for the museum’s new interactive multimedia features and audio navigation system. Even details such as landscaping, artworks and air conditioning were included in their integrated design-construction approach.


Widely covered in the media, the upgraded museum’s first day opening attracted 60,000 enthusiastic visitors.