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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Play of volumes

Info & Images: ©Coop Himmelb(l)au
Read Time: 2 mins

Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE), Shenzhen, China

Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE), Shenzhen, China, has a strong visual identity with a monolithic body and a multifunctional façade…

Having won the commission of the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE), Shenzhen, China via a competition in 2007, renowned architecture studio Coop Himmelb(l)au has recently completed the master plan for the Futian Cultural District, the new urban centre of Shenzhen that the museum is a part of.

sketch to final design - MOCAPE by COOP

The project combines two independent yet structurally unified institutions: The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Planning Exhibition (PE) as a cultural meeting point and a venue for architectural exhibitions. The lobby, multifunctional exhibition halls, auditorium, conference rooms and service areas will be used jointly.

program of MOCAPE at Futian Cultural district

Both museums are designed as separate entities emphasizing their individual functional and artistic requirements and yet are merged in a monolithic body surrounded by a multifunctional facade. This transparent facade and a sophisticated internal lighting concept allow a deep view into the joint entrance and transitional areas between the buildings. From the inside, visitors are granted an unhindered view onto the city suggesting they are somewhere in a gently shaded outdoor area, an impression enhanced by 6 to 17 meter high, completely open and column-free exhibition areas.

program at MOCAPE

program section at MOCAPE

Behind the entrance area between the museums, visitors ascend to the main level by ramps and escalators and enter the “Plaza”, which serves as a point of departure for tours of the museums. From the Plaza the rooms for cultural events, a multi-functional hall, several auditoriums and a library can be accessed.

'cloud' serves as central orientation

A silvery shining and softly deformed “Cloud” serves as a central orientation and access element on the Plaza. On several floors the Cloud hosts a number of public functions such as a café, a book store and a museum store and it joins the exhibitions rooms of both museums with bridges and ramps. With its curved surface the Cloud opens into the space reflecting the idea of two museums under one roof. 

building envelope made from insulated glass

Similar to other buildings in this district, the main level of the MOCAPE lies 10 meters above the ground level and so creates a stage-like platform, which acts as a unifying element with the adjacent buildings. The exterior skin consists of an outer layer of natural stone louvers and the actual climate envelope made from insulated glass. These elements form a dynamic surface, which is structurally independent from the mounting framework of the museum buildings.  

state-of-the-art technological components in interior of MOCAPE

The technical building equipment is designed to reduce the overall need of external energy sources: Pollution free systems and facilities use renewable energy sources through solar and geothermal energy (with a ground water cooling system) and only systems with high energy efficiency have been implemented. The roof of the museum filters daylight for the exhibition rooms, which reduces the need for artificial lighting.

With this combination of state-of-the-art technological components, MOCAPE is not only an architectural landmark but also an ecological and environmental-friendly benchmark project.

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