UCCA Dune Art Museum | Wins at the AZ Awards

The UCCA Dune Art Museum is hidden underneath a sand dune

OPEN Architecture’s impressive UCCA Dune Art Museum earned them one of the top prizes at the 2019 AZ Awards. The ceremony, which recognises some of the top international talent in the design and architectural world, attracted 1,175 submissions this year.

Judged by a panel of five architectural and design pioneers, the UCCA Dune Art Museum topped the category of “Best in Buildings Under 1,000 Square Metres”.

“The Dune Art Museum embodies a unique relationship between the interior and exterior. The space speaks of the place, and the materiality coherently fosters the concept.”

Stefano Pujatti, one of the jury members
Openings in the UCCA Dune Art Museum look out to the stunning ocean

The contemporary museum has been designed to act not only as a sanctuary for art and nature, but also as an exploration into new ways of exhibiting and viewing art. As such, the structure consists of multiple interconnected, softly curved cells with vast white interiors. These feel almost cave-like, a subtle nod to the first traces humanity has of art and storytelling.

The UCCA Dune Art Museum itself sits unnoticed in the landscape, engulfed by a sand dune, staring out towards the horizon. Its purposeful positioning takes full advantage of the breathtaking bay in Qinhuangdao while also preserving the site in which it sits from looming real-estate developments.

Natural daylight pours into the exhibition spaces through skylights scattered across the organically shaped domes. A range of other openings enable visitors multiple opportunities to look out and admire the ever-changing surroundings.

The design of the UCCA Dune Art Museum encompasses a reception, cafe, community room, exhibition spaces, an outdoor exhibition and a roof terrace which can be reached via a spiral staircase.

Every table in the cafe was designed by OPEN Architecture, each one shaped to match the floor plan of the eight main gallery spaces

Local workers, many of who had previously worked as shipbuilders, helped to construct the exterior by hand with small strips of wood and other malleable material. The walls have been left highly textured, a permanent reminder of the handiwork that went into the build.

The UCCA Dune Art Museum feature multiple terrace areas
Project Details:

Building area: 930 sq. m
Location: Qinhuangdao, China
Architects: OPEN Architecture
Principals in charge: LI Hu, HUANG Wenjing
Project team: ZHOU Tingting (Project Architect), WANG Mengmeng, HU Boji, FANG Kuanyin, Joshua PARKER, LU Di, LIN Bihong, YE Qing, Steven SHI, JIA Han
Local Design Institute: CABR Technology Co., Ltd.
Lighting Design: X Studio, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, China & OPEN Architecture
Photographers: WU Qingshan, TIAN Fangfang, NI Nan, Zaiye Studio

This project was sourced from V2com

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