Aranya Art Center

Best Architectural Design for Museum

About the project
Drawing inspiration from the seasonal ocean waters nearby—azure and calm in the summers, splintered ice though winter— Aranya Art Center attempts to encapsulate the natural wonder of water at its core. The design scheme is as much about the internal courtyard, a water feature when filled with water, but also a functional performance and gathering place when the water is drained. The exhibition galleries above benefit from the public space integration, but it also makes the project much more than just a place for display, it is also a place for sharing. The scheme maximizes its outer footprint but carves out a pure conical geometry at the center with a stepped amphitheater at the base. The central void space can be reconfigured and used in many ways. Within the thick mass of the building volume is a series of interlocking spaces that visitors can meander freely within, slowly ascending, enjoying a choreographed journey with directed views both inward and outward.

South Zone, Aranya Golden Coast Community, Beidaihe New District, Qinhuangdao, Hebei, China

Project implementation year

Project website

Additional information
domus 1503, Conquering the light, Tadao Ando guest editor, Italy, January 2021, P14-21
AXIS, Japan, August 2020, P115
Dezeen, UK, May 2019

Applicant and authors of the project
Neri&Hu Design and Research Office.
Founded in 2004 by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, Neri&Hu is an inter-disciplinary architectural design practice based in Shanghai. The practice’s burgeoning global portfolio includes commissions from master planning and architecture, to interior design, installation, furniture, product, branding and graphic works. The diversity of the team reinforces a core practice vision: to respond to a global worldview incorporating overlapping design disciplines for a new paradigm in architecture.

Other participants
Customer: Aranya
A community who has a strong emphasis on the spiritual nature of their lifestyle ideology, an oneness with the environment.