Museum of Contemporary Arts and Planning Exhibition in Shenzhen

Museum of Contemporary Arts

Museum of Contemporary Arts and Planning Exhibition “MOCAPE” in Shenzhen, China designed by Matteo Cainer Architects

The Museum of Contemporary Arts and Planning Exhibition is a symbolic cultural institution that confirms the importance of the Shenzhen region, as well as providing an intimate and meaningful public building for the Futian Center District.

The project represents a pair of hands coming together and interlocking. This universally recognised gesture of unity also signifies respect and humbleness. The new museum is a city within the city, where the external envelope evolves from a dialogue with the neighbouring buildings and encloses a new internal square, a protected space of tranquillity and calm, with the characteristics of the traditional Chinese courtyard.

The building has two principal wings. The Contemporary Art Museum is on one side and the Planning Exhibition spaces on the other. The public square between the two provides a venue for outdoor sculptures, and a meeting place for communal activities, as well as a restaurant. This dialogue is further enhanced through the site landscaping, where the plan of the city is recreated at a small scale with water features and hard landscaping framing a pedestrian route and re-establishing the human scale to the site.

The dramatic form of the cantilevered museum galleries represents a charging bull, the energetic force and symbol of the city, driving forward. This sculptural form is constructed from concrete and full-height steel trusses, with glazed openings that control the daylight levels internally and give selected views out. Within these large volumes, ramps, staircases and escalators link the free-flowing form of the open plan interior, with spectacular double or triple height spaces. The fragmented shapes that make up the museum will create a dynamic cultural landmark and a tranquil oasis for private contemplation.

Architecture Project info:

  • Program: Museum of Contemporary Arts and Planning Exhibition
  • Location: Shenzhen, China
  • Client: Shenzhen Municipal Cultural and Planning Bureaus
  • Design: Matteo Cainer Architects