Taizhou Contemporary Art Museum

Atelier Deshaus
Taizhou, China

Atmosphere, a leisurely walk, and transparency are the main ideas behind a monolith-looking museum built by Atelier Deshaus within a Chinese cultural complex.

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Photos: © Tian Fangfang

The Taizhou Contemporary Art Museum rises within the Shamen Cultural and Creative Park, around an old grain depot that was in a poor state of preservation. A series of factories and warehouses in the style of the former Soviet Union have been turned into stores, restaurants, and offices, revitalizing the area with activity. The museum building went up on a 2,450 m2 vacant plot, and a unique atmosphere was created within, thanks to parallel barrel vaults molded with concrete poured on the site, which connect with the exterior and make it easy for daylight to stream in. In the course of construction, due to execution difficulties, the design took on a brutalist appearance.

The program is organized by an ascending route that generates a spatial sequence of eight exhibition halls on four levels, starting in a foyer that subtly hints at the itinerary through the positioning of the vaults, and ending on the top floor, which opens out to views of Bogda Peak. The galleries connect with one another in section, and with adjacent rooms half their height that serve to alleviate the ascent by providing more circulation space. The resulting transparency gives visitors the feeling of moving through stages as they make their way to the top of the building.

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