The Museum that is Immense Inside
The MOAE– Huamao Museum of Art Education in Ningbo, China, by Alvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira is a mass of structure with an undulating surface that seems to rise from a hillside. The architects say that the museum is small from the outside but its interior appears immense due to the bright, all-white exhibition spaces that develop around an enormous void.
The Art Education Museum is following these principles; a small museum that is immense inside.
“Nothing is obvious in this little building. The public entrance is reached after passing around the form of the building and experiencing an imposed, absorbing compression, to then be released into a vast space, the full height of the building, where a snaking ramp links all the floor levels. This exercise of compression and release is constant during the visit,” explains the architect on the form and the calming white interior space.
This diversity in routes and the interconnection of spaces makes this small building vast inside. Its volume is equally challenging. From the exterior, it is suspended above the ground as it undulates in its metal cladding. It reflects the ever-changing daylight that makes the form move and transform. Inside, the introspective calm of the exhibition spaces contrasts with the movement of the visitors circulating in the enormous void.
The architect hints at the dynamism of art through this building, letting the reflective nature of the interiors play its role in the mind of the visitors. He says, “Dynamism is taught through Art. Size doesn’t matter, but a Museum must have a Big Soul.”
MoAE – Huamao Museum of Art Education – Ningbo
Client: Ningbo Huamao Education Culture Investment Ltd.
Location: Dongqian Lake, Ningbo, China
Total Building Area 5,300 square meter
Architects: Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
Portugal’s Office: CC&CB, Architects, Lda.PROJECT ARCHITECT:
1st phase (schematic design) – Luis Reis, Elisabete Queirós, Pedro Carvalho
2nd phase (design development/construction) – Pedro CarvalhoPROJECT TEAM:
Jorge Santos, Joana Soeiro, Sara Pinto, Susana Oliveira, Francesca Tiri,
Rita Ferreira, Diana Vasconcelos, Inês Bastos. Luísa Felizardo
3d models and renderings: Germano Vieira, Sara Noronha