Dune Art Museum by OPEN Architecture Tops Out ‘Under’ a Beach Near Beijing
OPEN Architecture has released the latest construction photos of the Dune Art Museum topping out in a Chinese coastal city near Beijing. The art museum manifests itself as a complex of interconnected concrete shells, which in the next and final stage of construction, are to be buried in sand and shrubs to restore the natural silhouette of the dunes on the beach.
It is no coincidence that the current state of the structure gives the impression of an otherworldly monument being excavated from underground. According to OPEN Architecture, the cave-like interiors are inspired by the “primal form of human inhabitance and the earliest site of man’s artistic creation.” The Dune Art Museum will house a gallery, studio, café, and bookstore within its building footprint of 1132 square meters.
With each of the ‘caves’ being assigned a different function, visitors are required to enter the museum through a dark tunnel, before reaching the reception area where it will be generously lit by natural light entering from the skylight above. Similar skylights and tubular apertures can be found in the other functional spaces. Upon completion of the Dune Art Museum, these elements will protrude out of the sand-covered mass, curiously framing the sky over one’s head.
The largest openings are located at the three ‘caves’ furthest to the west of the museum, each offers an expansive view of the sky in parallel with the Bohai Bay. Accompanied by echoes of the ocean tides lapping on the shore, the architecture is designed to fuse with nature in all senses.
The Dune Art Museum is the first installment of the project, Dialogue by the Sea. The second installment will feature the Sea Art Museum, a dock-like structure to be constructed offshore. The two museums will be connected by a narrow stone passage, accessible only at low tide. While construction has not yet begun for the second installment of the project, the Dune Art Museum is expected to be completed this year in late summer.