Surreal OCT Design Museum completes in Shenzhen projecting dappled light pattern onto the walls, reminiscent of a flock of birds
This reflective design museum is the work of Studio Pei-Zhu, a Beijing-based architecture studio whose creative expression is clear despite the youth of the practice. Located 300m from the shore, this 5,000 sq m civic complex was inspired by the smooth stones of the beachfront although the architects admit that there is something other-worldly about the design. It is almost UFO-like in its form as the panelled reflective surface and egg-shaped design are reminiscent of a spaceship.
The OCT Design Museum is host to fashion shows, product design exhibitions and conceptual automotive shows so the architects were required to provide a basic yet surreal exhibition space for these very different styles of design. Their response was an unbroken, white, curving interior.
Internally, the OCT Design Museum is a weightless space designed to act as a blank canvas for the artwork on display. Continuously curving walls are a simple backdrop and cast no shadow and offer no depth. Studio Pei-Zhu details: “The result is a surreal borderless space that seems to go on into the infinite, similar to the feeling of a James Turrell installation. The effect is like being in a cloud or dense fog. The building becomes a blank surreal background, with only small triangular windows scattered randomly, as if they were birds in flight.”
On the first floor of the building, visitors will find an entry lobby and café space, with the main exhibition areas located on the second and third levels. Here, the basic white curving walls are dotted with dappled sunlight which is permitted though clusters of triangular windows, animating the blank space but not detracting from the artwork on offer.