A Museum Carved Into Dunes

John Hill
15. November 2018
Photo: WU Qingshan

OPEN Architecture has wrapped up work on UCCA Dune Art Museum, a new museum for the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art that is located on a quiet stretch of beach in Qinhuangdao, about 300 km east of Beijing. The museum, in the words of the architects, "quietly disappears underneath the dunes into which it is carved."

OPEN Architecture's UCCA Dune Art Museum opened on October 13th with After Nature, an exhibition with nine Chinese artists whose works "engage with the question of how humanity discovered—and in some ways invented—the natural world." The museum was one of the "18 for '18" that we highlighted at the beginning of the year. 

Photo: WU Qingshan

OPEN’s founding partners LI Hu and HUANG Wenjing describe UCCA Dune Art Museum as "simple, pure, and touching—a return to primal and timeless forms of space." The spaces inside the 930m2 museum, which consists of ten galleries and a cafe, "echo those of caves—the earliest form of human inhabitance, whose walls were once home to some of man’s first works of art."

Although construction of the building required destroying some of the dunes and then recreating them atop the new building, the dunes alongside the museum will be preserved instead of being destroyed for oceanfront residences. So the museum does more than embed itself into the dunes: it draws attention to their beauty and the need to protect them.

Visit OPEN's profile to learn more about UCCA Dune Art Museum.

Photo: WU Qingshan

Related articles

Featured Project


Eurojust (EU agency)

Other articles in this category