OPEN Architecture

OPEN Architecture

Beijing, CN


OPEN Selected as Finalist in Shanghai's Pudong Art Museum Competition

By openarch
Sep 19, '16 5:11 AM EST

Recently, Shanghai organized an international competition for the new Art Museum of Pudong. The site of the project is located at a prominent spot on the tip of Pudong’s Lujiazui CBD area directly below the Oriental Pearl Tower. Looking across Huangpu River from the Bund, the iconic skyline of Lujiazui has been such a symbolic image of modern Shanghai that any addition or alteration to this image is extremely sensitive. So the site has been deliberately left vacant for years, awaiting a significant cultural institute and meaningful contribution to the urban life at the megapolis.

The competition consisted of two rounds, OPEN along with SANAA, Ateliers Jean Nouvel and David Chipperfield Architects progressed to the second round. 

OPEN’s Competition Entry

OPEN’s competition entry was highly recognized by the juries for its active intervention to the urban life. The Greater Lujiazui area as the site of the Pudong Art Museum, is a compelling example of the rapid urbanization of China in the past decades. An intense concentration of visual stimuli results in a hyper post card of Pudong skyline built for admiration across the river from the Bund, yet when examined closely, a fragmented and alienating city is revealed. “As we stand at the beginning of what is arguably a new post-bubble economy era,looking back to the results of such rapid growth, new place-specific strategies are urgently needed to remedy and revive the urban condition.” says Li Hu, the founding partner of OPEN.

OPEN’s design started with an urban concept that proposes the use of natural landscapes to connect and consolidate the existing isolated parklands, cultural facilities, and riverbanks to create an enormous new looped park system. Within this connecting natural landscape, new cultural, leisure and entertainment programs are inserted to complement the existing key nodes. Within the Shanghai metropolis, this parkland will in itself become a new cultural destination, and at the same time it will become an integral part of the lives of those who live and work around the Greater Lujiazui region.

The Pudong Art Museum is sited precisely at the critical junction within this new super looped parkway, together with the adjacent landscaped area to the east, it connects the Oriental Pearl Parklands with the Riverside. The existing eastern landscape is transformed into a sculpture garden and music park, as an extension of the art museum.

Conceptually the Art Museum is a visual link between the Greater Lujiazui area of Pudong and the Bund area of Puxi. Yet distinct from vertical and formal tendencies of the surrounding buildings, the Art Museum is more horizontal and seeks to fit into its surroundings. The minimalist geometry of the building sits like a diamond within Pudong’s urban horizon, its facets carved out and defined through urban forces.

The building was divided into two parts - the “Floating Gallery of Art” and the “Community Forum of Art”. They can accommodate a wide range of curatorial requirements and make Art and Culture become inseparable with urban life and cultural education. 

The intriguing void that’s held in suspense in between these two parts of the building is the most special place in this museum. It’s a completely open urban art plaza. To the east, it becomes a great urban stage set linked with the park, with the Oriental Pearl Tower as its magnificent back drop. While at the west end, the upper and lower parts of the building act to create a unique frame through which to survey the Bund and the historical urban fabric of Shanghai.

In this space, visitors are positioned at the junction between the upper and lower parts of the gallery, between the two parklands East and West, and between an urban imagination past and future. An entirely new relationship is created between City, Art, Nature and People.  


Project Facts & Credits

Location: Shanghai, China

Client: Pudong New Area Government

Building Area: 36,486 sqm

Project Year: 2016

Program: Art Galleries, Multi-Function Auditorium, Art Library, Café, Restaurant, Art Storage, Admin and Research Offices


Architects: OPEN Architecture

Principals in Charge: Li Hu, Huang Wenjing

Project Team: Ye Qing, Hu Boji, Zhou Tingting, Ma Qiancheng, Luo Ren, Anne Fang, Zhou Xiaochen, Jia Han, Ni Ruoning, Huang Weinan, Niu Bowen

Consulting Engineers: Arup 

OPEN's Competition Video