david chipperfield-designed west bund museum opens in shanghai

designed by david chipperfield architects, the ‘west bund museum’ in shanghai has officially opened to the public. as previously reported, the institution will show a series of exhibitions in collaboration with paris’ centre pompidou as part of a cultural collaboration between china and france. located on the shanghai corniche, an 8.5 kilometer (5 mile) frontage on the northern bank of the huangpu river, the new art gallery forms part of a larger cultural district for china’s biggest city.

image © simon menges



‘the design of the west bund museum responds to the openness of the site as well as the surrounding development of a new cultural corridor along west bund,’ explains david chipperfield, whose studios in berlin and shanghai led the project. ‘the wilful act of twisting the three main exhibition halls breaks the conventional geometry and creates powerful interstitial public spaces. a wide esplanade opens onto the waterside promenade, offering an outdoor space for use by everyone.’


the building consists of three main gallery volumes articulated around a central lobby — a configuration that allows for different parts of the museum to operate independently. each of the three main volumes is 17 meters (56 ft) high, with an upper and lower level. the upper level of each volume contains a top-lit gallery, while the spaces on the lower level vary in function, housing a multipurpose hall, an art studio, and education spaces.

image © simon menges



contrasting the smooth brightness of the plaster-clad hovering roof canopies, the three dominant volumes are clad with translucent recycled glass, which appear iridescent during the day and prismatic at night. meanwhile, a raised public esplanade surrounds the building, offering views to the river. stay tuned for more photos of the completed building, and see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.



project info:


name: west bund museum
location: shanghai, china
project start: 2013
construction start: 2016
completion: 2019
opening: 2019
gross floor area: 22,000 sqm / 2,044 sqf
client: shanghai west bund development group co. ltd.
user: centre pompidou, paris
architect: david chipperfield architects berlin & shanghai
partners: david chipperfield, libin chen, mark randel, martin reichert, alexander schwarz (design lead)
project architects: diana schaffrannek (preparation and brief, concept design), chuxiao li (developed design), qianqian zhang (site design supervision)
project team: thomas benk, tuo chen, tianyuan fan, dirk gschwind, weili huang, ruben kiewiet, sihan lai, manus leung, haishan li, han li, yuchen li, huiqun liu, andras mate, stuart rennie, lijun shen, peggy wong; graphics, visualisation: antonia schlegel


in collaboration with —
local design institute: shanghai urban architectural design co. ltd., shanghai (technical design to construction supervision)
structural engineer: arup deutschland GmbH, berlin & arup international consultants shanghai co. ltd., shanghai (concept design); shanghai urban architectural design co. ltd., shanghai (developed design)
services engineer: WSP, shanghai (concept design); shanghai urban architectural design co. ltd., shanghai (developed design)
façade consultant: drees & sommer engineering consulting co. ltd., shanghai
lighting consultant: Rdesign international lighting, shanghai
landscape architect: levin monsigny landschaftsarchitekten, berlin (concept design); beijing orient landscape co. ltd., beijing (technical design to construction supervision)

philip stevens I designboom

nov 09, 2019

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