Clean lines and natural light define KSP Jurgen Engel Architekten's Tianjin Art Museum in the city's Hexi District
The Tianjin Art Museum, which in April 2009 was won by KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten, has space to house four permanent exhibitions. In addition to rooms for Chinese calligraphy, western art, sculpture, and modern art, there are also galleries in which changing exhibitions can be presented. Together with three additional cultural facilities (a library, an opera house and another new museum) the new exhibition center forms part of a 90-hectare culture and leisure time development in the Hexi district of Tianjin.
This new quarter is dominated by an extensive area of greenery boasting a lake. In the row of striking exhibition and cultural edifices, the art museum is located on the lakeside promenade, which its visible side and main entrance overlook. The new buildings used for cultural purposes face the road, i.e., in the direction of the city, thereby creating a harmonious overall impression.
In front of Tianjin Art Museum the promenade expands to form a plaza, from where visitors are guided via the pedestal storey to the museum’s interior. A museum shop with floor-to-ceiling glass opens onto the entrance courtyard and forecourt. This special entrance creates a close link between the museums interior and exterior. At the same time it represents a transition from the lakeside promenade to inside the four-storey exhibition building with its gross surface area totaling 33,000 sq m.
An imposing entrance hall some 14m in height extends across the entire width of the museum and welcomes the visitors on the ground floor. In addition to the entrance hall this level also houses the museum shop, rooms for the museum’s collection and archive, administration rooms, a conference area, an educational section with child care, an approx. 500 square meter special exhibition section, as well as the VIP area with separate access for special guests.
In terms of spatial structure the museum is reminiscent of a solid stone cube with precise indentations, cut-outs and hollow spaces. All the exhibition rooms, artists’ studio, a restoration room which only visitors can look into, the library, as well as conference and meeting rooms are housed in the solid part of the monolithic structure. The cascade-shaped sequence of stairs and landings leading to the exhibition rooms on the upper storeys seem to have been hewn from this solid slab of stone.