Monologue Art Museum by Wutopia Lab
Shanghai-based architecture firm Wutopia Laboratory has completed the ‘Art Monologue Museum‘ in Porcelain, dedicated to those who wish to escape from worldly distractions. Installed in the SEATOPIA park in Beidaihe, Qinhuangdao, the project emerges as a set of three geometric masses floating in a pool, all surrounded by a white ring. The design team sought to create an intimate and silent space where visitors could contemplate or hide their thoughts.
“In an open green space at the intersection of three residential clusters in the Weilan seaside campus, I divided the 1,300-square-meter building into different monoliths combined with walls, corridors, and ambiguous spaces into a 3,600-square-meter triangular-shaped place. , the Monologue Art Museum.’
all images CreatAR Images, Seven W
the rectangular dance studio, the circular yoga studio and the oval theater
a place to relax and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city
Commissioned by Sino-Ocean Group, Wutopia Lab (see more here) has created an island in the middle of the bustling city where people can relax and be alone. The interior slowly unfolds through a sensory journey. To start this tour, the visitor crosses the small entrance theater where light bursts through the corners. The project is defined by the play of light, as well as by the spatial twists. Next, guests encounter the art gallery, serene water courtyard, colorful yoga room, tea room, and dance studio.
As he wanders, the light fades, the paths become narrower, and the stroller nearly loses its way. As one exits the building, a wall of flowers marks the route and crosses the water in dappled shadows. As the architects mention, ‘the water runs through the center and plunges into the building, apparently towards the sea’.
geometric masses floating in the pool
The project is mainly made up of three geometric volumes: The rectangular dance studio, the circular yoga studio and the oval theater, all symmetrical and regular with excellent seismic behavior. The design team installed three seismic joints to divide them into four separate structural units. The expansion and deformation of the extra-long structure was released, reducing heat stress and avoiding structural cracks caused by temperature changes.
As for the theater, Wutopia Lab opted for a flexible yet protected space to keep the audience’s attention on the performance. Thanks to a curved skylight over the back of the stage, daylight or moonlight pours in like a waterfall. ‘There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.’
The dance studio emerges as a translucent glass box ‘with enough light but filtering the outside landscape as a backdrop. Behind the mirrored wall of the classroom is the entrance hall and locker room on the mezzanine. The dancers can then dance as above and so below.’
construction and details
The interior and exterior walls of the Monologue are made of glass, solid walls and brick walls with flowers. All three are continuous as shifting ink strokes creating the shifting conditions of the museum’s boundaries. The architect notes: I see the limit of the Monologue as a line of changing ink. Use white instead of black in architecture. The kickoff is the small oval theater. The dot is the yoga room, the dry brush is the flower wall, the art gallery is the line that connects these, the thin and somewhat quick is the pointed corridor, then it slopes to become a lateral peak forming a slow thick line , the expanded art museum, then the dance studio is a slow bump back to the tip.
The patio was originally designed to have a white dry clay stone floor. During the construction phase, the architects decided to change the white to black, turning the accessible white square into a black pool that could be seen. With this gesture a new depth was created in the visual aspect.‘The white building is surrounded by a deep pool of silence, you look at it while it looks at you. The surroundings suddenly become silent.
“I wanted the glass surface facing the exterior of the courtyard and the museum to have a continuous view without any structural elements. To reduce the self-weight of the structure and the size of the structural elements, the roof is made of a full layer of 40mm fine stone concrete with ribbed design steel plates on top to ensure thermal insulation and protection. waterproof performance. A freestanding column protruded from the steel beam units in the narrow corridor and concealed them in the walls. And the single span frame hanging beam steel structure unit was used in the expanded space of the art museum. The maximum overhang is 4.6 meters. It guarantees a totally permeable effect without vertical elements that block the façade that overlooks the water patio.’
the brick wall bends to frame a courtyard or interacts with glass or solid walls to form a continuous 150 meter long corridor to wrap around the museum
The water court has calmed down. When I looked at the white building with a glass facade on the edge of the black pool in the rendering, a new familiarity arose and the atmosphere of the place was too clichéd. So, I decided to brighten it up by turning the tallest circular facade of the yoga room into a stained glass gradient. With a splash of color in the thick ink, a shining crystal fortress appears.
‘The crystal fortress originally had only one floor, but the client insisted on having a changing area, and I was only able to set up a second floor to ensure the visual openness of the first floor. He also wanted the glass of the façade to maintain vertical continuity. I asked Lao Hu to hang the floor to disconnect the floor and the glass facade. Lao Hu arranged the cross-shaped frame to provide horizontal lateral stiffness on the roof, combined with the peripheral ring beam to form a frame to provide torsional rigidity, forming a clear and efficient force system. He used four hanging pillars suspended from the main frame beam and hidden in the closet to lift the second story slab. Finally, the ladder was also suspended from the floor slab slightly. The first floor then opened up to the beautiful light.
open corridor with changing lights