Dong Yugan’s Red Brick Museum Celebrates The Sculptural Side Of Masonry.
Situated northeast of the Chinese capital, Beijjing, in Chaoyang district, the Red Brick Art Museum stands as a testament to masonry architecture.
Founders and collectors, Yan Shijie and Cao Mei opened the museum in May 2014 to showcase an exquisite assemblage of Chinese and world art, and to encourage the development of Chinese contemporary art.
Currently, the Red Brick Museum attracts art admirers from many walks of life and it has become somewhat of a landmark within Chaoyang’s diverse and lively streets.
Working as a professor at Peking University’s Architecture Research Centre, the man behind the massive brick masterpiece, Dong Yugan, has successfully drawn attention to the use of brick as an artistic medium.
With the setting of an art museum, it seems only fitting that Yugen used such a versatile material that was able to lend itself to endless creative possibilities. Furthermore, with the contemporary movement of modular art gaining traction across the globe, there couldn’t have been a material better suited to sheltering the modish works within its walls.
Forming a two-storey structure, the Red Brick Museum consists of nine exhibition spaces, 2 public recreation areas, a lecture hall, dining room, café and a number of multi-use facilities, all sitting above the basement which houses a projection room. All of these facilities impressively stretch across 20 000 square metres – 10 000 square metres of which is assigned to exhibits.
This photographers’ dream structure boasts rich textures that are created by protruding bricks and hit and miss brickwork, dramatic lighting which is thoughtfully controlled by skylights, narrow windows and small openings punctured into the brick, and playful characteristics such as the stepped seating areas and arching sections of wall.
The building’s main architectural element is also seen framing the perfectly manicured Chinese gardens, with dark and contrasting brick making up the pathways, walls and seating areas of the outdoor spaces.
Observing all of this fine brick detail, it is clear that Yugan’s has aimed to sculpt the Red Brick Museum into an art piece in its own right. Once again, the magic of brick as a medium has given a true architectural artist the freedom to engage the imaginations of countless onlookers!
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