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Chinese Art Museum Also Serves as Bridge

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

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An art gallery running over the Wanrong river, located in Jishou, China, is a new space that provides both an opportunity to enjoy art on a common daily route, while also serving as a pedestrian bridge.

The Jishou Art Museum, a visual homage to the traditional covered bridges of the Xiangxi district in western Hunan, was recently completed by Chinese firm Atelier FCJZ. According to Dezeen, the project was in response to a municipal government plan to construct a new art museum along the outskirts of the city. Atelier suggested locating the venture somewhere that was more easily accessible.

Art Gallery Bridge

Since the river runs through the middle of the city, it makes for the most central location for the museum, the firm noted: "We hope that people in Jishou would not only make a special trip to see art but will also encounter art on their way to work, to school, or to shop."

The structure consists of two stacked bridges, the lower level built as an open steel truss structure that is visually reminiscent of a covered street. The structure’s design is a callback to the Fengyu Qiao, meaning wind-and-rain bridge, which both served as bridges and as a place for vendors to set up shop and travelers to stop for a moment to rest.

With a sloping floor that includes stepped podiums that allow visitors to rest, the art gallery also features an open metal balustrade that offers views of the river on both sides. A concrete arch, which houses the structure’s painting gallery, is situated on top of the steel truss. Between the two bridges, a tiled shading system and glazed walls house the main hall, a space for temporary exhibitions.

Other spaces in the art gallery include: offices, a shop, a tearoom and the entrance hall. All of these spaces are located at the bridgeheads at either end of the structure. When visitors enter the structure they enter on the upper level and can visit the exhibition hall as they pass over the river.

The Jishou Art Museum, completed in April, was made possible by a donation from artist Huang Yongyu. The opening exhibition will take place this summer. (The design period occurred from 2013 to 2016.)


Tagged categories: Bridges; Completed projects; Infrastructure; Museums; NA; North America; Program/Project Management

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