The Xu Beihong Foundation unfolds in a simple yet expressive form. The dynamism of the painter’s works reflects through the protruding polygons of the façade. The interiors develop around a central atrium that connects the peripheral sections.
James Tendayi Matsuku
Liu Xiao Pu
Building area: 10885 sqm
Location: Beijing, China
Client: Public administration
The project is a new museum in Beijing, dedicated to the Chinese painters Xu Beihong. In addition to the galleries and the exhibition halls, it will include a research centre, an education institute, and administrative facilities. The site is in the northern part of the city, close to Xihai lake.
The scheme is conceived as a simple block placed into the forest. As an inspiration from the artist’s paintings, the building’s compact figure twists in a contrast of shapes: the façade becomes a vibrant skin of polygonal pieces and metal mesh. The distortions of the façade reflect an angular energy that spreads from both the arrangement and geometry of the internal spaces.
This minimalist piece of sculptural character appears to the visitor as strong and solid in its form, yet light and lithe in its material realisation. Seemingly simple from distance, it reveals a thoughtful complexity as one approaches closer to the project. Similar to the experience of a work of art, the visitor gets drawn within the building intrigued by its dynamic forms.
The interiors are organised around a bright atrium that works as a central lobby, linking all the sections. The research centre and administrative facilities are located, respectively, on ground and upper floors, with a connection to each other on the North side. Finally, the museum accommodates a small cafeteria and a roof terrace, which provides a beautiful vista of the nearby lake and natural landscapes.