Jean Nouvel’s proposal for the Beijing mega-museum includes an internal garden, sprawling open-air roof terrace and perforated façade.

The new 130,000 sq. m facility is set to become the new centrepiece of a new cultural district at the Beijing Olympic Park and will contain collections dating back to the Ming era (1368-1644).

Lifted above the ground, the large rectangular structure appears to defy the laws of gravity, intended by Nouvel to symbolise “a fragment of an ideogram shaped by an artist over a long period of time.”

A perforated façade allows sunlight to filter on to an expansive internal garden, while a sprawling open-air roof terrace provides visitors with a space for recreation and contemplation.   

The museum’s central space, the Summer Hall, features a carved, gold-painted ceiling that references the history of Chinese art from the 15th century to the present day.

A collaboration with the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD), the museum project is the result of an international competition that saw Nouvel’s design selected over proposals from Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Moshe Safdie.

Courtesy The Art Newspaper