Cloud Art Museum // Challenge Design

Guizhou, China

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01 Project Description/A Riverside Cloud in Qingzhen/In Qingzhen, Guizhou, a pure white “cloud” is floating by the meandering Laoma River, looming through the lush stands of green trees. It is the Cloud Art Museum in Qingzhen Wetland Park. Entering the museum that goes perfectly well with the surroundings, visitors may find that the view varies along the way.

© Challenge Design

© Challenge Design

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© Challenge Design

The curved see-through glass structure supports the smooth cloud-shaped roof.Visitors will be surprised at the visual feast of mountains, water, and scenery via the continuous floor-to-ceiling glass wall. The overall building is transparent and light, making its color and luster calming and soft. Along with the restrained base, the museum is full of vigor and elegance.

The museum, with the design inspired by and abstracted from the auspicious cloud symbol in traditional Chinese culture, combines nature with art, simplifies the cloud image and decides on the shape of the building.

© Challenge Design

© Challenge Design

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The flowing architectural lines enable the better integration of the buildings into the environment. Through detailed scrutiny, the museum is located in the position facing the Laoma River so that the sight can reach the water without being disturbed by the hilltops around.

The building facade is composed of aluminum panels and glass, which forms a sharp contrast in materials.

© Challenge Design

© Challenge Design

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The contrast between the materials somewhat adds delicacy and fineness to the building. Through the reflection of the glass, water and aluminum panels, the shadows of trees through the glass, the building outline and the sky in the water all form a vivid picture of light and shadows.

Guizhou Province is famous for its undulating terrain that enriches the city’s spatial layout.

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The back row of buildings’ view on the museum is taken into account in the design. The design of the fifth façade is emphasized as well. The regularly perforated aluminum sheets combined with the irregular light design make the place as bright as a starry night if viewed from a higher position, which gives people the illusion of being over the clouds.02 Creativity/By the Mountain · On the Cloud/The museum is like a piece of white cloud looming through the mountain, becoming an inseparable part of the surroundings.

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The design team seeks a new language to present the artistic conception of the Orient in a more futuristic way and create a new experience of combining the oriental culture with modernism.

With the ideas of “By the Mountain · On the Cloud · Making the Water”, the Wetland Study Camp combines nature with art, simplifies the cloud image and decides on the shape of the building.

The design team extends the distance between the corridor and the main building, which forms a quiet pond courtyard at the entrance.

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The whole space is thus separate and goes with the terrain, which enriches the corridor space and better enhances the interaction between the corridor and the wetland park.03 Challenges/ Coexistence of the Mountains, the River and the Cloud /At the beginning of project design, the focus was on how to build a “small” art museum between the mountains and the river, which makes full use of the landscape resources without being outshone by the surrounding buildings.

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In the future, a wetland museum designed by Shigeru Ban will be built on the top of the hill next to it, so how to make a perfect combination of these two closely related buildings is another aspect in determining the design concept.

To minimize damage to the original environment, the museum is divided into two sections: the reception hall in the front and the exhibition hall.

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The reception hall resorts to a streamlined overhead corridor, which guides visitors to the camp through mountains and waters. The exhibition hall sits in the mountain and looks lightweight due to changes of materials. It looks exactly like a cloud in the mountain if viewed from the river.The simple and soft streamlined shape increases the inclusiveness of the building.

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For instance, the pure white cloud is not aggressive, which makes it possible for its coexistence with the mountains and the river and future development around the area.04 Indoor Space/ A Dreamy Feeling of Being over the Clouds/Hopefully, the pure white space gives people a dreamy feeling of being over the clouds.

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The sparkling water reflects off the ceiling, creating a natural and serene view. Going with the terrain, a transition space is designed on the river-facing side.The indoor ceilings, floors and walls are all covered in pure white, with hyperboloid columns supporting the ceilings. The curved space enables a soft view of the interior and exterior of the building and enhances the visual effect of the hyperboloid pillars.05 Sustainability / Facade Materials Suitable for Local Conditions /In addition to see-through glass, light aluminum panels are mainly used to reduce the building load caused by the shape and ensure the bright and durable facade.

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This kind of material with good corrosion resistance is a better choice based on Guiyang’s natural condition of heavy acid rain, making the building more sustainable.

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Cloud Art Museum Gallery

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