KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten recently beat out several starchitects with their winning design bid for the Shenzhen Art Museum and Library complex. The German studio’s glass-covered proposal was selected over a shortlist of designs by distinguished architecture firms that included Steven Holl Architects, OMA, and Mecanoo. The cubic buildings are clad in matte-glass facades to maximize natural light, but also include a solid inner layer to protect against solar heat gain.
The Shenzhen Art Museum and Library complex comprise two glass-covered cubic structures centered on a public plaza. The 160,000-square-foot museum includes four aboveground terraced floors and a roof that extends over 200 feet beyond the entrance towards the adjacent library. The library is composed of a four-story reading room accompanied with 1,000 desks arranged around a central atrium and illuminated by an abundance of natural light. An underground archive is located within the 20-foot-tall stone base, on which the matte glass structures sit.
“The main concept behind the design was to create a space that brings together art, culture, and an urban environment—a space where people and culture are encouraged to interact,” said the firm, referring to the public plaza studded with sculptures. “In this context, the construction of the new art museum and library…is not only of functional but highly symbolic significance, representing as it does a firm example of how the strategy of also making Shenzhen a creative and cultural center is actually being implemented.”