take a first look inside OPEN's completed dune art museum in china

take a first look inside OPEN's completed dune art museum in china

after more than three years of construction, the UCCA dune art museum in china is now complete. the project, designed by OPEN architecture, is buried within a sand dune on a quiet beach in qinhuangdao. largely enveloped by the dune, the 930-square-meter museum contains a total of ten interconnected galleries and a café. with the museum now open to the public, the first images of the project have been revealed. take a first look at the scheme below, and see designboom’s previous coverage here.

aerial view of the museum complex | image © wu qingshan



in september 2018, the UCCA — china’s leading independent institution of contemporary art — announced that it will work in partnership with OPEN to program and operate the museum, which will be known as the UCCA dune. the exhibitions have been designed to exist in dialogue with the building’s unique form and its relationship with the natural surroundings. while the museum’s exterior is fully integrated with nature, its interior spaces have been conceived as a mysterious network of organically shaped caves.

the building is buried within a sand dune on a quiet beach
image © wu qingshan



from an environmental standpoint, openings throughout the building, each with a different orientation and size, provide natural lighting for the museum throughout the year. meanwhile, a sand-covered roof greatly reduces the building’s summer heat load, and a low-energy, zero-emission ground source heat pump system replaces traditional air conditioning.

main entrance
image © wu qingshan



the complex three-dimensional geometry of the building’s concrete shell was shaped by hand by local workers in qinhuangdao (some of whom were former shipbuilders), using formwork made from small linear strips of wood and other materials. OPEN deliberately retained the irregular and imperfect texture left by the formwork, allowing traces of the building’s manual construction to be felt and seen.

the 930-square-meter museum contains a total of ten interconnected galleries
image © wu qingshan



OPEN is simultaneously working on plans for an adjacent sister institution — the sea art museum — which would rise out of the water like a solitary rock. in the near future, a long walkway will extend out into the ocean, allowing visitors to walk between the two museums when the tide is low.

the openings in the ceiling allow natural light inside the museum
image © wu qingshan

the skylights also serve as a connection between the interior and the exterior
image © wu qingshan

a concrete spiral staircase connects the different levels of the structure
image © wu qingshan

the overall whiteness of the complex results in a tranquil ambiance
image © wu qingshan

the café overlooks the beach and the sea beyond
image © wu qingshan

the project involved three years of construction
image © wu qingshan

the rooftop has views towards the ocean
image © wu qingshan

see designboom’s previous coverage here
image © ni nan



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