Behind the Concrete is a monthly snippet where we introduce a piece of architecture that has a unique design and/or interesting story.
Project name: Song Art Museum
Location: Shunyi district, Beijing
Area: 22,000 square meters
Design company: Vermilion Zhou Design Group
The brief: Formerly a slightly dated Victorian villa in Beijing’s Shunyi district, the owner enlisted Vermilion Zhou Design Group from Shanghai to give the property a contemporary spin, transforming it into a minimalistic art space. Architects retained its elongated shape and installed a white façade over the original structure to allow their Chinese scrolling painting-inspired design to materialize.
Reestablishing the relationship between the architecture and the surrounding courtyard was one of the architects’ main tasks. Nearly 200 pine trees of various sizes were carefully selected and planted in a seemingly random pattern around the main structure and smaller pavilions.
The new buildings feature plenty of geometric shapes and white spaces, a nod to two of the most important principles of Western and Chinese art forms.
The connection between the museum’s interior and the courtyard is fortified by large floor-to-ceiling windows, where visitors can admire the pine trees outside from the comfort of the exhibition space.
The use of white spaces and perfect geometry are resonated in Song Museum’s main exhibition hall.
Vermilion Zhou’s architects designed the exhibition spaces as blank canvas to allow visitors to focus on the artworks.
Photos by Xia Zhi, courtesy of Vermilion Zhou
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