The Museum of Contemporary Arts and Planning Exhibition is a symbolic cultural institution that confirms the importance of the Shenzhen region, as well as providing an intimate and meaningful public building for the Futian Center District.

The competition entry represents a pair of hands coming together and interlocking. This universally recognized gesture of unity also signifies respect and humbleness. The new museum is a city within the city, where the external envelope evolves from a dialogue with the neighboring buildings and encloses a new internal square, a protected space of tranquility and calm, with the characteristics of the traditional Chinese courtyard.

The building is composed of two main wings. The Contemporary Art Museum is on one side and the Planning Exhibition spaces on the other. The public square between the two provides a strong venue for outdoor sculptures, and a meeting place for communal activities, as well as a restaurant. Dialogue is further enhanced through the site landscaping, where the plan of the city is recreated at a small scale with water features and hard landscaping framing a pedestrian route and re-establishing the human scale to the site.

The dramatic form of the cantilevered museum galleries represent a charging bull, the energetic force and symbol of the city, driving forward. This sculptural form is constructed from concrete and full-height steel trusses, with glazed openings that control the daylight levels internally and give selected views out. Within these large volumes, ramps, staircases and escalators link the free-flowing form of the open plan interior, with spectacular double or triple height spaces.

The fragmented shapes that make up the museum will create a dynamic cultural landmark and a tranquil oasis for private contemplation.


Program: Museum of Contemporary Arts and Planning Exhibition
Size: 82,050 sqm
Client: Shenzhen Municipal Cultural and Planning Bureaus

Design Principal: Matteo Cainer
Design team: Yo Murata, Evonne Tam
Structure: Arup Lonon

MOCAPE Shenzhen by Matteo Cainer in China won the WA Award Cycle 25. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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Matteo Cainer