area: 10,270 m2 / 110,000 ft2
The Himalayas Museum was designed to be situated within the existing Himalayas Centre designed by Arata Isozaki. As a “found” space — a raw unfinished concrete interior with soaring 15m ceilings — it had a particular power and resonance with the field of contemporary art. Thus it was decided that, rather than obscuring this construction, three “rocks” housing the museum’s tripartite program of contemporary art, classical art, and education, could be situated within the existing structure, thereby creating a tension between new and old, inside and outside, raw and refined.
The centre of the space was reserved for large scale installations. The “lecture” rock, facing this space, could be “sliced,” rendering the main exhibition visible to seated occupants and vice versa.
The “scholar’s” rock would function as a museum within a museum, with dedicated spaces for a 25m handscroll, a relocated Ming-dynasty pavilion, a contemporary scholar’s studio, and a private terrace.
The “contemporary” rock would house a series of white cube galleries of various proportions, from small and intimate to soaring and grand, and including a hidden reclining Buddha. The interstitial space between these galleries and the shell of the rock would function as an “underground” museum, a set of irregular, rough, unfinished spaces for informal exhibitions and artists working.
Adam Sokol; Li Ling, Daymond Robinson, Gregory Serweta;
Scott Archambault, Nicole Halstead, Nicole Lee, Jia Ma
Buro Happold (lighting design, structural engineering, mechanical engineering)
Tongji University Design Institute (executive architect)