China’s ‘museum of the 21st century’ will represent the country in 2013 Basel Art
Construction has started on Foster + Partners Datong Art Museum in China. Dubbed the country’s ‘museum of the 21st century’, the 32,000m2 venue is one of four major new buildings within Datong New City’s cultural plaza.
Its centrepiece is the Grand Gallery, a heroically scaled, top-lit exhibition space measuring 37m high and spanning almost 80m, in which artists will be commissioned to create large-scale works of art. Foster has created a highly flexible interior space to accommodate a changing programme of displays.
“Datong’s new quarter will be the centre of the city’s cultural life, with the new museum as its ‘urban room’”, Luke Fox
The design sees the building’s external form conceived as an erupted landscape - the entire museum is sunk into the ground with only the peaks of the roof visible at ground level.
The roof is clad in earth-toned Corten steel so as to weather naturally over time. It is composed of four interconnected pyramids, which increase in height and fan outwards towards the four corners of the cultural plaza.
Luke Fox, a senior partner at Foster + Partners, said: “When complete, Datong’s new quarter will be the centre of the city’s cultural life, with the new museum as its ‘urban room’ - a dynamic space, open to everyone to meet and enjoy its different displays and activities.”
The museum plans to open in 2013 to represent China in the ‘Beyond the Building’ Basel Art international tour.