NANJING SIFANG ART MUSEUM
Nanjing, Jiangsu, China, 2003-Nov 2, 2013
PROGRAM: museum complex with galleries, tea room, bookstore, and a curator's residence
CLIENT: Nanjing Foshou Lake Architecture and Art Developments Ltd
SIZE: 30,000 sf
The new museum is sited at the gateway to the Contemporary International Practical Exhibition of Architecture in the lush green landscape of the Pearl Spring near Nanjing, China. The museum explores the shifting viewpoints, layers of space, expanses of mist and water, which characterize the deep alternating spatial mysteries of the composition of Chinese painting. The museum is formed by a "field" of parallel perspective spaces and garden walls in black bamboo-formed concrete over which a light "figure" hovers. The straight passages on the ground level gradually turn into the winding passage of the figure above. The upper gallery, suspended high in the air, unwraps in a clockwise turning sequence and culminates at "in-position" viewing of the city of Nanjing in the distance. This visual axis creates a linkage back to the great Ming Dynasty capital city.
"This Museum of Architecture has become The Museum - the place of the muse of architecture. It needs no other exhibits in addition to itself as an object lesson in Architecture, architecture for itself, architecture in itself. Sure enough, there will be the day when exhibitions will take place. But, in the meantime nothing makes us as happy as a building that needs to addition, that is so sufficient unto itself, that any "content" will possibly detract from our experience."
-Yehuda Safran, The Plan
'In truth, Holl's strength lies in his ability to create buildings that are both radical and understandable, ethereal yet still monumental. His levitating tubes and light-flooded interiors may feel transcendent, but they maintain a well-grounded sense of architectural space'.
-Aric Chen, Spoon, December, 2005
– Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl, Li Hu (design architect)
Li Hu (partner in charge)
Hideki Hirahara (associate-in-charge)
Clark Manning, Daijiro Nakayama (project architect)
Joseph Kan, JongSeo Lee, Pei Shyun Lee, Tz-Li Lin, Richard Liu, Sarah Nichols (project team)
– Architectural Design Institute, Nanjing University
– Guy Nordenson and Associates
– L'Observatoire International
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