Guardian Art Center
Beijing, China | Büro Ole Scheeren | 2017
The Guardian Art Center is a new arts and cultural center on Wangfujing Street in Central Beijing. Designed by Büro Ole Scheeren, the building operates as a museum and auction house hybrid, supported by conservation rooms, art storage, educational space, bookstore, restaurants and hotel. This “machine for exhibitions and events” brings together a conglomeration of different programs all under one roof.
In June, the center was partially open to the public with the plaza and hotel still under construction. The accessible interior areas – lobby, bookstore and cafe – felt underwhelming compared to the exterior pixelated volumes. The building’s massing responds to the context by splitting the massing into two sections. On the lower portion, the galleries are contained within small pixelated volumes clad in dark gray stone, visually receding into the background, while the hotel hovers above within a single, reflective volume made from glass block. The building deserves a revisit after final completion.
Visited: June 4, 2018