The design concept for UN Studio’s proposal for National Art Museum in Beijing, China is based on the uniting dualities, complementing each other: day and night, inside and outside, past and future, calm and dynamic, large and small, individual and collective. Its formal expression references ancient Chinese ‘stone drums’, therefore the form of the museum highlights the identity of the country, its spirit and essence. However, wrapped in a contemporary media facade with illuminated art projections, the Museum represents modern interpretation of a precious piece of tradition.
The designers explain that while the architecture of the museum is represented by the ancient artifact of the stone drum, the art within represents its spirit, or its “essence” – in the same way that the agile strokes of ink in a Chinese painting give spirit to a blank piece of paper, the art collection gives spirit to the museum.
Ben van Berkel’s design team aimed to create various exhibition spaces and galleries with extensive lighting possibilities, in order to provide ideal conditions for the work display. The design further incorporates high levels of circulation spaces, divided into different routes, splitting visitors by interest groups, gathered around themed sequences.
Strongly embedded within its cultural and urban context, NAMOC acts as a connector – the public urban plinth plateaus of the cultural district is an attractor between the levels of the street, the museum volumes and the underground.
UN Studio’s competition entry for National Art Museum offers fixed and temporary exhibition spaces, educational facilities, offices, restaurants and shops, on the total area of 99.700m2.