Steven Holl Architects just won a competition to design a series of four museums for the new Culture and Art Center of Qingdao City in China. The New York architects beat out OMA and Zaha Hadid Architects with their proposal, which consists of a series of looping volumes of galleries and pathways. The snaking structures reference the adjacent Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, which is the world’s longest bridge over water.
Steven Holl Architects‘ 2 million square meter proposal for the Culture and Art Center of Qingdao City features gallery spaces and public routes that connect all aspects of the landscape and create a high degree of porosity. This facilitates natural ventilation and daylighting and establishes small landscapes and “art islands” within the site. A large central courtyard dominates the complex and overlooks a large water garden. The stained concrete undersides of the “light loops” disappear at night, making the rich polychrome colored galleries appear to float.
The project deploys various clean technologies – photovoltaic cells placed between the skylights on the light loop provide 80% of the building’s electrical needs. About 480 geothermal wells are used for heating and cooling. The entire complex sits over reflecting ponds with recycled water, while the galleries receive natural lighting that is controlled by 20% screens with blackout options.