Nouvel’s stroke of luck gives China its art museum

A prestigious competition to design a national art museum for China has been won by the French architect Jean Nouvel.

The winning design has the shape of a huge three-dimensional brush stroke, linear in form and rounded at one end, yet pointed at the other. The exterior of the building has a reflective surface in which images of surrounding buildings and natural forms, such as trees, can be seen. While the outside of the structure is relatively simple the museum’s interior is much more complex, incorporating several different levels.

The lowest level of the art museum, known as the ‘summer lobby’, takes the form of an extensive piazza, which is freely accessible from outside the building. The next level, or ‘winter lobby’, is a vast space similar to the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall and visitors reach this via lifts. The lobby’s walls are painted crimson and its ceiling is formed from the lower floors of numerous galleries suspended above.

At the top of the museum, a shaft descends to the basement of the building, allowing limited light to filter down to areas where paper works are stored. A garden and a restaurant are located on the upper level, with a glass roof and floors allowing light to pass through, illuminating galleries underneath.

In Chester, those who are considering embarking on a building project might be inspired by some of Nouvel’s ideas. It should be possible to find a talented architect in Chester who could incorporate similar elements into a design.

Posted by Adam Lloyd
August 19, 2013
New Buildings

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