atelier deshaus: spiral galleries in shanghai atelier deshaus: spiral galleries in shanghai
feb 17, 2013

atelier deshaus: spiral galleries in shanghai

‘spiral gallery I+II’ by atelier deshaus, shanghai, chinaimage © shu heiall images courtesy of atelier deshaus



the ‘spiral galleries’, designed by chinese firm atelier deshaus, are bisected by a threshold of circulation. reflecting the principles of the yin and yang, the opposing pavilions exhibit unique characteristics that provide different experiences and still hold a strong communication with each other.


the ‘spiral gallery I,’ located further inland is composed of two spiraling concrete ribbons resting on the ground plane delineating a sequence that compresses and opens the space, bringing the visitor into an introspective environment protected by the curving walls. from the site, the structure seems a simple form, flat and solid, sitting heavily on the site. the user is brought to the roof plane, where the plan below is immediately made clear as they make their way across the helical contours until a series of stone steps submerges them into the central courtyard, slicing cyclical pathways of negative space into the mass.

bird’s eye view of both galleriesimage © yao li




the interior functions – kitchen, gallery area, studio, mechanical room, bathroom, and storage area – are organized in the positive space, wrapping around the exterior path of circulation bringing the visitor to unravel their journey to the very point where they started. radially-designed wooden ceiling purlins mark the rhythm of passage, extending sight lines out towards the outer transparent facade and the surrounding landscape.

bird’s eye view of spiral gallery Iimage © yao li




‘spiral gallery II’ creates a more extroverted ambiance. where the first gallery is about the journey into a solid mass, the second is about an open structure elevated into the air, displaying its character from the exterior. a glass display is rested upon a concrete base slightly below grade. the user is first brought down into a half-subterranean courtyard that penetrates to the center of the pavilion so that the enclosed structure wraps around it. a series of open and closed spaces are experienced in cycles as the user is forced to weave in and out of the gallery. the section below ground contains a glass wall exposing the lower floor to the central courtyard, with a solid concrete wall concealing the second storey. the exact inverse occurs on the program above ground, as the outer envelope is entirely made of transparent glass and thin columns allowing views over the site, and the interior wall facing the courtyard becomes solid.

approach on a natural pebble path in a wooded areaimage © zhang siye

image © yao li

stone stairs leading to the rooftopimages © shu he

thick vertical walls curve fluidly around the siteimage © shu he

view into the courtyard from the rooftop walkwayimage © shu he

bending concrete wall compresses space before opening to the courtyardleft image © shu heright image © yao li

(left) view into the internal spaceimage © pan lingfei(right) view from the internal spaceimage © yao li

entrance into the gallery space from the center of the projectimage © yao li

gallery space screened by thin louversimage © shu he

view of spiral gallery II from the waterimage © su shengliang

image © shu he

image © shu he

view from the walkwayimage © shu he

exterior stairs leading to the central courtyardimage © shu he

internal courtyardimage © shu he

upper galleryimage © su shengliang

internal stairs to the upstairs gallery spaceimage © su shengliang


site plan

floor plan / level +1 : spiral gallery I

roof purlins : spiral gallery I

section: spiral gallery I

section: spiral gallery I

axonometric view : spiral gallery I

floor plan / level 0 : spiral gallery II

floor plan / level +1 : spiral gallery II

section: spiral gallery II

  • 有机会去现场看看

    yan says:
  • An exciting project especially when the trees are in leaf and grown.
    I am always surprised when I see a sophisticated project like this and then I see the lighting fixtures that are used.
    Is this a style that is favored in Japan?
    It would seem that one would want to use lighting that is flattering to the structure during the day and more so at night.
    It is painful to see this done.

    Ron Smith says:

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