Artificial island to house Asia's largest private art museum
By David Szondy
July 14, 2013
Art Museums regularly push the boundaries in terms of architecture, but Beijing architecture studio MAD has gone one step further by designing an artificial island to form the Pingtan Art Museum. Dominated by three concrete mounds, the museum will feature exhibit halls and public spaces and be linked to Pingtan Island by an undulating pier.
Located on the east coast of Fujian province, China, Pingtan Island is the largest island in the Fujian province and the closest large island to Taiwan. Currently home to fisheries and a military base, it was designated a "Comprehensive Experimental Zone" by Beijing in 2010 and a new city is under construction to encourage closer trade and cultural ties with neighboring Taiwan.
The Pingtan Art Museum is the third museum project by MAD Architects, which claims this will be the largest private museum in Asia. With a construction area of over 4,000 sq m (43,000 sq ft) at a cost of 800 million RMB (US$130 million), it will display over a thousand pieces of art including national treasures.
The artificial island is intended to reflect the geography of Pingtan with the museum formed from a series of hills designed to suggest topographic lines. The exterior, made of concrete and local sand shells, is intended as a public space with a central oasis, while the interior spaces are designed to resemble ancient caverns.
Construction of the island and museum has already begun, though no completion date has been announced.
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