AQSO, Xubeihong, facade, metal mesh deployment, grid, stairs, concrete, entrance, patio, atrium, copper building

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.

Luis Aguirre
James Tendayi Matsuku
Liu Xiao Pu
Wenzhen Yi

Building area: 10885 sqm
Location: Beijing, China
Client: Public administration

AQSO arquitectos office. The museum is located in an urban park with abundant vegetation. The form of the building is simple, a sober box, wrapped in a semi-transparent façade of angular shapes in shiny metal.

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.

AQSO arquitectos office. The central atrium of the building is a space illuminated by a large skylight. The plasticity of its concrete walls reminds us of a natural cave dominated by the stairs leading to the upper level.
AQSO aquitectos office. The methacrylate model allows the interior of the building to be observed as if it were an X-ray. This transparent, laser-cut three-dimensional piece shows the stairs and the inner courtyard of the building.

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.

AQSO arqutiectos office. This section of the museum shows the central atrium on the first floor, covered by the skylight, and the various exhibition rooms.

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.