Designed by Japanese architect Ryue Nishizawa in China’s Shandong province, the Jining Art Museum combines architecture and landscape in three structures united by a distinct architectural language. Photographer Paulo dos Sousa’s images show how the museum relates to the adjacent lake and surrounding vegetation, highlighting how the roof’s main architectural gesture organically creates a series of in-between spaces that extend the museum’s activities outside the environment.
Located on the outskirts of Jining, the museum, cafe and pergola project is part of a large-scale development of a new cultural center. The one-story museum building contains a series of volumes linked together by a large, organically shaped canopy, whose overhang creates a series of covered outdoor areas and a portico space around the building.
This should expand the museum space or be used independently in connection with the surrounding area. Half of the space covered by the roof is used as semi-outdoor areas to provide sun protection in Jining’s hot summer climate.
The exhibition spaces, arranged independently around several patios, are connected by glazed corridors that serve not only as divisions, but also as multipurpose spaces that house a café, a lounge or a bookshop.
Extensive use of glass creates a consistent relationship between the exhibition spaces and the surrounding context, while the locally sourced blue bricks create a connection with local Chinese tradition.
The other two structures repeat the same language of flat roofs with organic shapes. The pergola in the form of a thin canopy is reminiscent of SANAA’s 2009 Seperntine pavilion, which winds around existing trees. The cultural facility opened in 2019 and is the first museum designed by Pritzker-winning architect Ryue Nishizawa in China.