OPEN Architecture convert 100-year-old fuel tanks into art museum

by Andrew Manns | 26 Mar 2019

OPEN Architecture have transformed five decommissioned oil containers into the Tank Museum Shanghai – an art gallery and exhibition complex.

The new 60,000 sq m attraction, which is situated near an airfield that was active in the 1920s and '30s, also includes a landscaped concourse and "urban forest", as well as retail shops and restaurants.

"While paying tribute to the site's industrial past," the architects outlined in a statement, "the new art park aims to create new urban life by re-establishing the link among art, nature, and the city.”

The reputedly government-backed scheme was almost six years in the making and was spearheaded by Chinese collector and businessman Qiao Zhibing. Shanghai West Bund Development Group served as the property developer.

The museum debuted on 23 March with three exhibitions including the light show-style "Universe of Water Particles in the Tank" by teamLab.

Described by the art collective as an "ultrasubjective space", the visual and auditory installation invites visitors to engage with an illuminated wall of cascading water. When touched, sensors create a chain reaction, causing streams of the water particles to 'flow' into and influence other exhibits.

The installation will run until 24 August and will be followed by an exhibition featuring a selection of works by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates.

Tank Shanghai Museum  Shanghai 
OPEN Architecture have transformed five decommissioned oil containers into the Tank Museum Shanghai – an art gallery and exhibition complex. The new 60,000 sq m attraction, which is situated near an airfield that was active in the 1920s and '30s, also includes a landscaped concourse and "urban forest", as well as retail shops and restaurants. "While paying tribute to the site's industrial past," the architects outlined in a statement, "the
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The long-anticipated museum features a number of unique art installations and exhibits. / Courtesy of teamLab
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