GMP Architekten and Nieto Sobejano announced for design of Guangzhou cultural hub

by Tom Anstey | 18 Jun 2015

German firm GMP Architekten and Spanish architecture firm Nieto Sobejano have been selected to design Guangzhou Museum and Guangzhou Science Museum respectively as part of the Chinese city’s new cultural hub.

GMP’s Guangzhou Museum will be located near to the distinctive Canton Tower. The design includes references to the Chigang Pagoda – a famous structure built in 1619 – which lies to the north of the museum near the Pearl River. Limited to 18m (59ft) in height at its northern end because of the historic buildings around it, the museum will gradually rise to 40m (131ft) tall, with the architects using the height differential to create a roof terrace facing the pagoda. Internally, the museum will feature a central great hall with a number of terraced levels.

Nieto Sobejano’s plans for the Guangzhou Science Museum are based on a grouping of nine individual shapes, conceived as a “flexible sequence of large-scale ceramic vases”, according to the architect. Covering 80,000sq m (861,000sq ft), the museum will include exhibition halls, temporary exhibition space, science and technology theatres, auditoriums, an indoor garden and a rooftop garden overlooking the city.

GUANGZHOU SCIENCE MUSEUM - NIETO SOBEJANO ARQUITECTOS from Nessun Dorma on Vimeo.

In addition to the new museum and science museum, the Guangzhou cultural hub will also include an art gallery, forming a trifecta of culture known as “Three Museums - One Square”.

“The architectural concept admits multiple variations of a limited number of elements generating a complex space out of a combinatorial system," said Nieto Sobejano.

“The new science museum will be – together with the adjoining Guangzhou Museum and the art gallery – a landmark in the new urban axis, not only for its ambitious programme for the popularisation of science, but also for its unusual spatial conception, which proposes a dialogue between the memory and historical tradition of the place and a technological and museographic approach.”

At present, costs for the 550,000sq m (0.55sq km) development have not been revealed. A date for completion of the project will be set once an architect has been named for the art gallery, which is still to be determined.

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German firm GMP Architekten and Spanish architecture firm Nieto Sobejano have been selected to design Guangzhou Museum and Guangzhou Science Museum respectively as part of the Chinese city’s new cultural hub. GMP’s Guangzhou Museum will be located near to the distinctive Canton Tower. The design includes references to the Chigang Pagoda – a famous structure built in 1619 – which lies to the north of the museum near the Pearl
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Nieto Sobejano’s plans for the Guangzhou Science Museum / Nieto Sobejano
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