This stunning art museum near Yinchuan, China was designed to visually mimic the flow and layers of sediment in the Yellow River. Located between the wetlands and the desert on the eastern outskirts of the city, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Yinchuan's facade was designed by Beijing design firm We Architect Anonymous (WAA). The museum sits on the Western Bank of the 3,400-ft-long Yellow River at the Huaxia-Hetu Art Town in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
WAA wanted to showcase the area’s rich ecological history by showing the multifaceted layers of the Yellow River’s sediment in the building itself. “Placing the importance of geological activity in our site narration enabled the formation of a site specific concept and identity,”said the WAA team.
The museum, which opened August 8, is “rooted in local culture,” and was constructed with the goal of working towards building a platform of international artistic exchange with global Islamic art. The “undulating curves and creases” of the building’s facade were created in glass-fiber-reinforced concrete. Using parametric modelling to calculate the precise geometries of the surfaces, the architects had 1600 panels made. Every panel, ranging from the smallest at eight square meters to the largest at 40, is unique in size and shape.
The Yinchuan museum is the only contemporary art museum in China dedicated to exchange with Muslim countries and the city itself serves as a channel for Islamic cultural exchange as the host of the biennial Sino-Arab Summit.