As part of an ongoing redevelopment of the Shenzhen city center, Coop Himmelb(l)au‘s 2007 commissioned design for the Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition (MoCAPE) adheres to the functional requirements of the modern museum while molding the urban fabric to offer a contrasting attraction within the predominantly high-rise district. The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Planning Exhibition are joined together to create an ‘Urban Monolith’ by a large metal sculpture sheltering a skybridge beneath a flared glass overhang. Located near the City Library, Opera House, Central Bookstore, and other civic centers of the Futian District, the MoCAPE completes the civic exchange between China and Hong Kong, making its size and location a crucial piece to the ‘Futian Cultural Center.’ A contrasting use of scale spreads the MoCape across the site, allowing overhangs to stretch towards the street. The louvered and at times triangular glass fa├žade keeps natural light in as well as strategic views of the surrounding street life, wrapping around the two offset museums. Like in the Dalian International Conference Center, Coop Himmelb(l)au tailors architecture to adhere to China’s large population through urban scale and circulation, comfort and energy consumption, offering spaces to gather and indulge in China’s contemporary visions.

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