The museum is a simple yet expressive form - the dynamism of the artist's works reflected through the polygonal faces of the facade. The spaces are sculptured around a central that links the various functions together.
James Tendayi Matsuku
Liu Xiao Pu
Building area: 10885 sqm
Location: Beijing, China
Client: Public administration
The Xu Beihong Memorial Hall is a new public building dedicated to the Chinese painter in Beijing. In addition to galleries and exhibition halls, it will include a research centre, education institute, and administrative facilities.
The site in the northern part of the city, close to Xihai lake, is an undeveloped area surrounded by abundant natural landscape.
The scheme is conceived as a simple block inserted into the forest landscape. It is through the inspirations of the artist’s work within that its compact figure twists in contrast: its façade becomes a vibrant skin formed by polygonal pieces of metal mesh. The distortions of the facade reflect an angular energy that carries through from both the arrangement and geometry of the spaces within.
This simple piece of sculptural character is presented to the visitor as at once strong and solid in form, yet light in materiality: an effortless understanding at a distance, it reveals a thoughtful complexity as one approaches closer to the project. Not unlike how one may digest a great work of art, the visitor gets drawn deep into the building through their curiosity of its dynamic forms, until it finds itself in a world shaped by the artist, a neutral interior space where one is free to discover the meanings and beauty of the painter’s work.
The inside of the building is organised around a bright atrium that works as a central lobby connecting and distributing the program. The main stairway brings the visitors up to the top floor from where they can spiral down through the exhibition halls. The research centre and administrative facilities are located on the ground and upper floors with a connection to each other on the north side of the site. The museum is complete with a roof terrace and small cafeteria from which it offers views of a nearby lake and surrounding landscape.