Ningxia Art Museum / CCTN Design
Background. Nearly a decade has passed since the project Ningxia Art Museum was launched in 2013. This building has filled the long-term blank of provincial-level art museums in Ningxia and provided a high-quality exhibition and research space for the future propaganda and development of art in Ningxia. Located in the Jinfeng district of Yinchuan City, Ningxia Art Museum stands at the starting point of the east-west public activity axis of North New Town. The site is surrounded by open space in three directions and across the street from the north side of which is the Yinchuan Civic Center of a large scale. Representing a stone column, the Ningxia Art Museum responds to the site environment and the regional culture.
Design Determination. After thousands of years of precipitation, the rock paintings engraved on the rock wall of Helan Mountain have gradually become an indispensable part of regional culture and art in Ningxia, and Helan Mountain has thus become the natural carrier and symbol of Ningxia culture. The design imitates Helan Mountain stone to carry the thick cultural deposits and spiritual strength of Ningxia. the architectural image is extracted from the architectural image The rugged and powerful form characteristics of Helan mountain stone. Through the combination of five mountain stone volumes, the architectural form with rich tension is presented. Making the museum itself a public sculpture in the city and shaping a new spiritual anchor in a larger-scale environment.
Museum generation. The museum is located on the south side of the site and connected to the road on the north through the outdoor exhibition area. The entrance square in the northwest corner of the museum connects the circulation of visitors from the public axis in the north and reaches the entrance of the museum through the guidance of landscape. The museum takes a complete boulder volume as the initial form, and forms multiple building volumes by splitting the boulder, which opens the entrance and sets up the atrium space corresponding to the visitors from the northwest, and reintegrates the building into a complete form through the roof and glass curtain wall in the gap, presenting the freehand scene of Helan Mountain stone standing in the vast Gobi Desert.
Interior Space. The interior and exterior space of the museum is integrated, and the volume of the rock is not only the external presentation but also extends to the internal space. In the natural gap space left by the combination of rock volumes, a variety of canyon spaces are created, forming a corridor of interdependence between mountains and valleys. The space between the exhibition volumes is zigzag, narrow, and high. The multi-dimensional interleaving of platforms of different heights between the rocks creates a rich spatial effect and forms a circular visiting circulation. At the same time, there is a rest space at the exit of each exhibition hall for people to stay.
The canyon space enlarges at the entrance to form a grand atrium space to meet the requirements of important activities such as the opening ceremony. The public service and training area is in a flowing curved space in contrast to the hard rock volume, combined with the half-moon-shaped pure white ceiling, creating a free and romantic atmosphere. The artist’s salon integrates the outdoor courtyard to create a comfortable atmosphere of communication and dialogue with the external urban space and Helan Mountain.
Details. The architectural form strives for simplicity while paying attention to the design of details. The triangle as the motif of the building runs through the whole design. The main volume is cut to form a number of triangular folding surfaces to strengthen the sense of rock. In the public service area, the volume conforms to the wall shape and combines internal functions to form a gradual triangular window. The large triangular window on the south side provides good light for the office and studio space. The triangular pyramid skylight on the roof presents a sense of pattern with geometric rhythm and also assumes the function of lighting the atrium. The texture of the hand-chiseled strip score on the facade stone shows the contrast with the flat surface of the large area of the glass curtain wall, which strengthens the rough shape of the rock. The stone surface of the interior space is embedded with narrow and long polished stone materials, which enriches the texture of the wall and presents a more relative facade scale.
Application of light. The public space of the museum has a good interaction with natural light. The sunlight that permeates the gap in the side of the canyon changes shades with different seasons and different times, vividly delineating the shape of the valley. The light cast by the skylight on the roof is like the sunlight swimming through the clouds in the valley, which adds an energetic relish to the interior space.
Program settings. An excellent art museum needs not only diverse exhibition spaces, but also perfect supporting functions. Under the undulating architectural form, Ningxia Art Museum provides ten exhibition halls with regular forms, which fully meet the requirements of various exhibition arrangements. The exhibition halls are set on the first to third floors of the building, among which there are three exhibition halls on the first floor of the building, including a tall exhibition hall with 1200 square meters and 8 meters clear height, which provides an excellent exhibition space for large-scale artworks and can inspire artists to create new forms of works for this space. The three exhibition halls on the second floor and the four exhibition halls on the third floor are arranged around the public platform, and each exhibition hall can be combined for viewing or used independently, which gives a good degree of freedom for the exhibition arrangement and avoids the interference of other exhibitions when arranging exhibitions in individual exhibition halls. The collection on the ground floor is equipped with several special warehouses such as paper, oil paintings, and miscellaneous pieces, which are equipped with advanced storage and equipment systems to provide professional protection for the storage and maintenance of artworks.
At the same time, the museum is equipped with perfect supporting facilities. The northwest corner of the volume vertically combines the service hall, cafe, public training space, art salon, and urban viewing platform altogether, which provides good support for the later operation of the museum. The self-contained layout can be used flexibly and independently when the museum functions are closed. At the same time, a 200-person multi-function hall is set up on the north side of the first floor to facilitate academic conferences.