Art museum

Ennead Architects Unveils Chinese Scholar’s Rock-Inspired Wuxi Art Museum Winning Design

Ennead Architects Unveils Chinese Scholar’s Rock-Inspired Wuxi Art Museum Winning Design

Ennead Architects has revealed the design of the wuxi Art Museum in the historic port city of wuxi, China. The competition’s winning design proposes a new arts and culture center that draws on the tradition of Chinese gardens, a practice with a long heritage in the region. The complex is located within Shangxianhe Wetland Park, a natural environment that informs and influences the museum experience. According to the designers, the architecture behind the Wuzi Art Museum is designed as a Taihu scholar stone, a contemplative spatial structure sitting quietly within the larger natural context and inviting visitors to pause.

Ennead Architects Unveils Winxi Art Museum's Winning Design Inspired by Chinese Scholar's Rocks - Image 2 of 13Museum of Art – Aerial view from the northwest. Courtesy of Ennead Architects. Image © Brick Visual” width=”125″/>Ennead Architects Unveils Winxi Art Museum's Winning Design Inspired by Chinese Scholar's Rocks - Image 3 of 13Ennead Architects Unveils Winxi Art Museum's Winning Design Inspired by Chinese Scholar's Rocks - Image 4 of 13Art Museum – View from Shangxian East Road. Courtesy of Ennead Architects. Image © Brick Visual” width=”125″/>Ennead Architects Unveils Winxi Art Museum's Winning Design Inspired by Chinese Scholar's Rocks - Image 5 of 13+ 13

Ennead Architects Unveils Winxi Art Museum's Winning Design Inspired by Chinese Scholar's Rocks - Image 2 of 13
Wuxi Museum of Art – Aerial view from the northwest. Courtesy of Ennead Architects. Image © Brick Visual

Create an integrated relationship between the surrounding landscape and the architecture of the museum, Ennead collaboration with a landscape architecture agency West 8. Organically shaped voids are carved into the volume of the building to better define distinct exterior domains. It also helps to frame the views of the outdoor art exhibits in carefully composed natural contexts. An organized path winds through the gardens, courtyards and plazas, allowing visitors to experience the art installations through an immersive process of discovery.

Ennead Architects Unveils Winxi Art Museum's Winning Design Inspired by Chinese Scholar's Rocks - Image 4 of 13
Wuxi Art Museum – View from Shangxian East Road. Courtesy of Ennead Architects. Image © Brick Visual

A civic square marks the main entrance with its central courtyard, a space with a distinctive identity marked by the aquatic landscape filled with water lilies and a point of reference for the museum. Similar to the outdoor art park, the museum’s interior spaces are designed as a sequence of distinct areas that alternate art exhibits with ever-changing views of the surrounding landscape. Different types of lighting contribute to the experience of gallery spaces. The unique perforation and texture of the facade introduces filtered natural light and highlights the shaping of the limestone facade.


Related article

Ennead Architects Reveals Masterplan for New Shanghai Mall


The hinged limestone facade incorporates smooth surfaces and rough, porous areas to create a textured expression. This further emphasizes the concept of the building as an intricate meditative stone where the holes and crevices provide a level of interest and delight to the viewer. The architecture aims to present the cultural history of Chinese gardens which seamlessly integrate art and landscape.

Ennead Architects Unveils Winxi Art Museum's Winning Design Inspired by Chinese Scholar's Rocks - Image 3 of 13
Wuxi Museum of Art – Public Passage. Courtesy of Ennead Architects. Image © Brick Visual

Our vision for the wuxi Art Museum is to place it within a larger overall composition, highlighting the views inside and outside the museum through subtractive carvings and recesses while mimicking the natural weathering of the spirit stones. The garden metaphor inspires not just a formal proposal but an experiential one, offering an evolving journey of art and nature through carefully composed choreography that reveals something new at every step. – designer Thomas J. Wong, partner at Ennead Architects.

Ennead Architects Unveils Winxi Art Museum's Winning Design Inspired by Chinese Scholar's Rocks - Image 5 of 13
Wuxi Art Museum – Main entrance. Courtesy of Ennead Architects. Image © Brick Visual

Ennead Architects established an office in Shanghai in 2014 and has been active in Asia for many years. Recently Ennead Architects unveiled the Shanghai Lingang Special Zone Master Plana new global trade hub in Lake Dishui district of Shanghai. The office also designed the Shanghai Astronomical Museumwhich opened in 2021, and the Zhangjiang Science City in Shanghai.

Ennead Architects Unveils Winxi Art Museum's Winning Design Inspired by Chinese Scholar's Rocks - Image 6 of 13
Wuxi Museum of Art – East Observation Deck. Courtesy of Ennead Architects. Image © Brick Visual