Mountains on the Walls

The bubble windows of the Guardian Art Center in Beijing create the first in a series of striking impressions curated by the building’s architect Ole Scheeren. These large-scale pixels make up an abstracted interpretation of the artwork Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains, signalling the significance and essence of the space.

Photo credit: Iwan Baan

Designed as a cultural centre, the Guardian Art Center is an multifacted hybrid, home to museum, gallery, auction house, event space, and even a hotel. Its layered exterior reflects the versatility of the building with each facet expressing a different element of Chinese heritage.

Photo credit: Shu He

The uppermost layers which house the hotel are made of “floating, over-sized glass bricks”, chosen to resonate “with the textures of the adjacent hutongs and courtyard houses” and to repreent “civil society and values – a humble and non-elitist symbol in Chinese culture.”

In an effort to harmonise history with modernity, Scheeren makes reference to the centre’s surroundings “echoing the grain, color and intricate scale of Beijing’s hutongs, building upon its surroundings and ‘layering’ into its base the sediments of history.”

Büro Ole Scheeren

A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, March 2022.

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