Datong Art Museum
Datong Art Museum
Foster + Partners
Intersecting soil toned peaks erupt from the earth to form the dynamic Datong Art Museum by Foster + Partners, conceived as an important new cultural destination in China.
Located in Datong, a city in the north of Shanxi province, the building opened its doors to the public with a special exhibition featuring oil paintings done by local artists, after almost a decade of construction.
Erected among three other major buildings within Datong New City’s cultural plaza, the museum design is set to become a hub for creative industries in the region, which aims to recharge its infrastructure.
The centrepiece of the 32,000-square-metre venue is the Grand Gallery, a heroically scaled, top-lit exhibition space measuring 37 metres high and spanning almost 80 metres, in which artists will be commissioned to create large-scale works of art.
The space is flexible and efficient – services are integrated with the structure and the gallery can be accessed directly by an articulated 40-foot container vehicle to install large-scale sculptures, stage and lighting equipment.
The building’s sculptural form has been conceived as a landscaped terrain with a series of interconnected pyramids emerging from below the earth – the gallery spaces are sunken below ground and surrounded by landscaped plazas.
Complementing the museum’s cultural programme are a series of spaces dedicated to education and learning, including a children’s gallery, media library, archive and art storage facilities.
Visitors are guided towards the museum by strong diagonal paths in the landscaping. The entrance is via a winding sequence of ramps, which lead down into an open sunken plaza – this also provides an amphitheatre for outdoor performances.
Entering the building, visitors arrive at a mezzanine level that reveals a spectacular overview of the Grand Gallery, the social heart of the museum, which measures 37 metres in height and spans almost eighty metres.
The form of the pyramidal roofscape, which varies in height, resulted from the building’s large structural span that ensures the galleries are flexible and column-free.
The roofscape is clad in weathering-steel plates, which have been arranged in a linear formation to accentuate the shape of the peaks and help drain water.
Visitors approach via a gentle ramp and stair, which are integrated with the sunken plaza to create an informal amphitheatre.
The arrival sequence culminates in a dramatic overview of the Grand Gallery, the centrepiece of the 32,000 sqm venue, top-lit exhibition space measuring 37 metre high and spanning almost 80 metre long, in which artists will can to create large-scale works of art.
The building’s efficient passive design responds to Datong’s climate. High-level skylights take advantage of the building’s north and north-west orientation, using natural light to aid orientation while minimising solar gain and ensuring the optimum environment for the works of art.
- Foster + Partners’ Datong Art Museum in China features intersecting pyramidal roofs / https://www.stirworld.com/see-news-foster-partners-datong-art-museum-in-china-features-intersecting-pyramidal-roofs ↑
- Datong Art Museum / https://www.fosterandpartners.com/projects/datong-art-museum/ ↑
- Datong Art Museum / Foster + Partners / https://www.archdaily.com/974628/datong-art-museum-foster-plus-partners#:~:text=Datong%20Art%20Museum%20%E2%80%93%20an%20important,creative%20industries%20in%20the%20region. ↑
- Foster + Partners shelters subterranean art gallery with pyramidal roofscape / https://www.dezeen.com/2022/01/06/foster-partners-datong-art-museum-china/ ↑
- FOSTER AND PARTNERS DATONG ART MUSEUM OPENS TO THE PUBLIC / https://www.metalocus.es/en/news/foster-and-partners-datong-art-museum-opens-public ↑
- Datong Art Museum | Foster + Partners / https://www.archilovers.com/projects/56028/datong-art-museum.html#info ↑