Art museum occupying the entire floor in a 250m tower.
Client: Hong Museum
Date: Completed in 2023
Typology: Cultural Public Space, Art Museum
Area: 1950 sqm
Principal Architect: Xie Jie
Design team: Deng Jun-Wen, Ni Zi-Qin
MEP Engineering: Shanghai San Jiang Engineer
Lighting consultant: RDI Lighting
Documentation Consultant: Cheng Yu Design
Builder: Yun Yi Construction
Photography: Chen Hao
Hong Museum is an experimental art institution dedicated to combining sociological thinking and contemporary art. The museum is located in Zhi-Xin Plaza, designed by John Portman, at the city center of Wenzhou. The Plaza, where the Westin Hotel sits atop, features Portman's classical internal soaring atrium with strong verticality. The design of the Hong Museum unfolds horizontally within an entire floor at lower level, transforming the mundane, standard typical floor, usually for office use, into a uniquely characterized art space. The design aims to create a status with porosity among the accurately and economically planned commercial urban interior space and allowing art and sociology topics to enter the public sphere. The continuous, sinuous exhibition wall brings in a new sense of movement, while creates the inner space and periphery space for the museum. Between the curved exhibition wall and the straight wall of the core is the U-shaped main gallery hall. The changing curves shape exhibition spaces with a variety of dimensions. The light environment of main gallery hall is controllable by a tailored artificial lighting system. The mundane elevator hall of the core is quite common, but has unique spatial dimensions as an exhibition hall. Therefore, it is designed to be a long corridor-gallery with a sense of extension. Two corner exhibition platforms with curtains echo the openness of the tower's corners on plan. These flexible corner spaces can be used for different exhibitions and events. Surrounding the art museum are three side gallery halls that follow the changing curves. The side exhibition halls are filled with abundant natural light. They create a different light environment for visitors comparing to the main gallery hall, offering the possibility to enjoy the surrounding urban scene during the visit. Apart from exposing structural beams and slabs in the originally 3.9-meter floor-to ceiling height, air conditioning pipes are arranged along the outer curved walls, ensuring a complete height space for the main gallery hall, and providing more curatorial possibilities. The curving walls also resemble the building's columns and the exposed structural beams, amplifying the sense of order from the structure and the free form of the curves. The natural curvature of the gallery walls guides visitors. The walls continue to envelop spaces outside the exhibition area, such as offices, lecture rooms, and a café, blending art and social activities in the spatial context. The view in the souvenir area is pleasant, which creates connection to the city: one can glance at the iconic Xun-Shan Tower of Wenzhou from the lecture room, and can overlook the entire Bai Lu Zhou Park from the café seating area.