OPEN Architecture

OPEN Architecture

Beijing, CN


Sea Art Museum

Two art museums on a quiet beach along the coast of Bohai Bay in northern China: one hidden in the sand dunes, like mysterious caves; one rising out of the sea, like a solitary rock. A long walkway in between connects the sand and the sea, the art and the people. The two museums create a silent dialogue by the sea.

The “rock” is formed by two lines: one perpendicular to the shore, the other perpendicular to true north, with a 15-degree angle in between. This museum has the same shape in the plan as on the façade. Geometry and order, solitude and determination – the ‘rock’ houses a gallery and a single workshop that also serves as an artist’s retreat. The path that links the “rock” to the shore is a path for the pilgrimage of art. It is only revealed at certain times, with the right tide and at the right moment. Observing its fleeting presence is not unlike the discovery of one’s personal legend—it is there, but may seem unattainable.

The “rock” emerges from the sea, and rises towards the sky. Facing the sea, the gallery is open and transparent, extending from the interior to the exterior. Attuned to the breathing of nature, the dock like semi-outdoor space is to receive artwork and visitors coming in from the sea.

This gallery only exhibits one piece of art at any given time. The art pilgrims, in solitary coexistence with the artwork, come infinitely close to its spirit. Behind the gallery, a hidden workshop is a retreat for the artist—a hermit on the sea.


Design Year:                       2015 - 2018

Status:                              Under Construction

Client:                               Aranya

Program:                           Gallery, Artist Studio, café, and art bookstore

Building Area:                     830 m²

Location:                           Qinhuangdao, China


Design Firm:                      OPEN Architecture

Principals in Charge:           LI Hu, HUANG Wenjing

Project Team:                     ZHOU Tingting, WANG Mengmeng, HU Boji, FANG Kuanyin, Joshua PARKER, LU Di, LIN Bihong, YE Qing, Steven SHI, JIA Han

Local Design Institute:        CABR Technology Co., Ltd

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Qinhuangdao, CN