an exercise intended to focus on re-estabishing context and history of a site, dutch firm mecanoo has proposed their design for the longhua art museum and library in shenzhen, china. integral to the development, the building takes into account its place and purpose to create a program that is organized around a series of patios, which will seamlessly blend into the urban surroundings. this will effectively provide a place of reflection, peacefulness and contemplation for the city’s residents.

all images by mecanoo



the architecture will reflect the values of traditional buildings in china; guided by local customs and urban culture. during china’s modernization the past ten years, buildings mostly took an iconic and futuristic appearance, while neglecting years of history and urban participation. ‘instead of copying western models, we delved into local customs to find the typologies that would adjust the most easily to the lifestyle and practices of local inhabitants.’ explains mecanoo. through studying the climate, for many years, this has effected people to organize their lives around outdoor spaces and in turn, the museum will mimic this idea. furthermore, the development will hope to achieve a sense of harmony between nature and the built environment, and provide a calm respite from the hectic streets of shenzhen.

mecanoo-longhua-art-museum-and-library-shenzhen-china-designboom-03floor to ceiling book shelves, along with seat integrated stairs will provide a place for reading

visitors move from one floor to the next by the central atrium that provides natural light and ventilation

changing vistas unfold through the wooden windows, which size varies on different levels

the program is organized around a series of patios that relate with the urban surroundings

mecanoo-longhua-art-museum-and-library-shenzhen-china-designboom-03inside the art museum

the spacious and light lobby connects the courtyard level to different exhibition spaces by a sculptural escalator



mecanoo-longhua-art-museum-and-library-shenzhen-china-designboom-03the space will be a center for learning, information and culture that unites people of all ages and backgrounds

the building attempts to steer away from the iconic and futuristic appearance of many new developments in china

mecanoo-longhua-art-museum-and-library-shenzhen-china-designboom-03the development will be situated in the city of shenzhen, china

mecanoo-longhua-art-museum-and-library-shenzhen-china-designboom-03model of the proposed art museum and library


video by mecanoo of the longhua art museum and library, shenzhen, china


project info:


size: 73,200 sqm
status: design 2015 – 2015
address: baoan qu, shenzhen shi, guangdon
client: shenzhen library and art museum
design team: mecanoo, hsarchitects
program: cultural complex, library, city archive, reading room, children library. musuem, shops, art research center, art archive, communication center.