Ole Scheeren creates art and culture civic complex for Beijing auctioneers

by Alice Davis | 17 Mar 2015

Auction house China Guardian has commissioned Büro Ole Scheeren to design its new home. Far from being simply a headquarters, the Guardian Art Centre will include a museum, courtyard, the auction house, event space, an 120-room hotel and several restaurants.

Construction is now underway on the mixed-use cultural complex, close to the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD) is also working on the project, which had to go through four years of intensive planning with the capital’s authorities to get to this stage.

Büro Ole Scheeren has designed a building that draws on aspects of traditional Chinese life – such as Beijing’s famous hutong – while maintaining a contemporary architecture suited to the commercial-cultural mix of the hybrid space. The central courtyard is a 1,700sqm (18,00sq ft) exhibition and event space.

“The design of the building shares its qualities with those of Guardian,” said the client,

China Guardian’s chairman and founder Chen Dongsheng. “It is profound, simple and clean, and exudes a sense of stability and trustworthiness.”

“The Art Centre will be a tangible link between past, present, and future,” he said. “It celebrates history and tradition while also representing an important social and civic amenity for the capital.”

The Guardian Art Centre is slated to open in 2016. Büro Ole Scheeren has been based in Beijing for 10 years.

“Ole Scheeren’s work is rooted in culture and history,” said Chen. “It reflects the culture of the site and the culture and customs of the Chinese people. He merges all these elements in his creation, endowing architecture with its social life and meaning.”

The building is located at the intersection of Wangfujing, Beijing’s most famous commercial street, and Wusi Dajie, the site where the New Cultural Movement originated after the Qing Dynasty, said Scheeren.

“The Guardian Art Centre explicitly pays respect to its context and location but also comes to embody the nature of an auction house at the intersection of culture and commerce,” Scheeren said.

Alongside Büro Ole Scheeren and BIAD, Thornton Tomasetti, Arup and WSP are collaborating on the Guardian Art Centre.

Auction house China Guardian has commissioned Büro Ole Scheeren to design its new home. Far from being simply a headquarters, the Guardian Art Centre will include a museum, courtyard, the auction house, event space, an 120-room hotel and several restaurants. Construction is now underway on the mixed-use cultural complex, close to the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD) is also working on the project, which
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A rendering of the new Guardian Art Centre in Beijing, China / Büro Ole Scheeren
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