The Yunshan Art Museum, designed “with love” by CROX and Yuan Gou Design


Simian Mountain is located in the lush Chinese district of Jiangjin, near the metropolis of Chongqing, and enjoys a considerable reputation in the country thanks to many legends, all of which have to do with love. Two of the numerous examples are the six thousand step staircase, each hand-carved by a boy out of love, and the tallest waterfall in China, which is said to be “The first heart-shaped waterfall in the world”. In this context, the well-known Chinese architecture firm CROX designed the new art museum in Yunshan in collaboration with Yuan Gou Design. The Simian Mountain area is rich in natural beauty and has become a remarkably popular destination for curious visitors from all over China and beyond, thanks in part to its proximity to the Zhongshan Historic Site and the fascinating ancient stories for which it is so famous . With regard to the location, the architects themselves explicitly mention the “extraordinary culture of” love “that permeates the location and further explain: “People come here to look for the source of love, no matter what kind: love between people, love for objects and even love for nature.”

Yuan Gou was responsible for the architectural structure, while CROX managed the design and division of the rooms. From the outset, the focus of the project was on the idea of ​​using the same natural elements of the environment to create, both formally and visually, the uniquely pleasant, rich and lively atmosphere that characterizes the area.

At the first glance at the new Yunshan Art Museum, visitors are greeted by an artificial water that perfectly reflects the image of its imposing entrance and is housed under a roof with two massive, dramatic playing fields that reach almost down to the surface of the water. Entering the entrance hall, the floor is lowered and further down a few narrow stone steps you are in the center of a room that is magnificent for its height and natural light. In this room, large, illuminated characters hang prominently from the ceiling and set a counterpoint to the emptiness of the atrium. This is the first art installation that the visitor will encounter in the museum: a calligraphic work entitled “Love Waterfall”.

When designing the interiors, CROX used a variety of materials that create large spaces that flow into one another, but retain clearly defined boundaries thanks to the colors of the floor and wall coverings used. The entrance hall, for example, has a gray stone floor, all walls are made of wood and reach the high ceiling. However, the further way through the museum leads us to exhibition rooms in which wood is used for the floor and walls, while the ceiling forms the beautiful contrast of white plaster. Meanwhile, visitors find pure white marble beneath their feet; If you look around you will discover that you are immersed in a completely white environment, floating between refreshment areas, social lounges and paintings or sculptures.

At the heart of the museum, the ceiling takes on a very special dimension that CROX designed as a representation of the sky: another natural element that is of central importance in Chinese poetics. It consists of a structure of undulating, transparent strips that are evenly spaced from one another and are illuminated by special LEDs that imitate the sun’s rays.

In conclusion, the architects express their poetics with these words: “The sky surrounds you when you look up. The three-dimensional wave structure of the ceiling is inspired by the various cloud shapes that float above Simian Mountain. The sky is right above your head and offers a constantly changing visual and spatial feeling. “

Francesco Cibati

Project name: Yunshan Art Museum
Space design: CROX
Design team: CRLin, Li Bentao, Duan Meichen, Mo Shulin, Ling Yufeng, Zhao Wenhui, Huang Peigeng, Zhu Sihan, Wan Ruoja, Gu Bowen, Liu Jingfei
Soft decoration design: CROX + Shanghai Dayan Architectural Design Consulting Co., Ltd
Architectural design: Yuan Gou Design & Consultant
Landscape design: Chongqing Wei Tu Landscape Design Co., Ltd. + CROX
Client: China Construction Real Estate (Tianjin) Co., Ltd
Spatial nature: tourist center, city marketing exhibition hall, art exhibition
Venue: Jiangjin District, Siping City, Chongqing
Completion: 2020
Unit: Shenzhen Jianyi Decoration Group Co., Ltd
Indoor area: 5800 m2
Main materials: black walnut, Douglas fir solid wood, artificial stone, terrazzo, marble, granite, red copper, hand paint, amber glass
Photographer: Kuomin Lee

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