Steven Holl to design four museums for complex in China

New York architect Steven Hill has won a competition to design four museums as a series of “art islands” linked by a looping route of galleries and pathways in Qingdao, China.

The Culture and Art Centre of Qingdao will occupy an 18- hectare site, creating a complex of museums dedicated to the arts.

Holl’s proposal is to use a snaking tunnel structure, referencing the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, to connect the four museums while accommodating a trail of galleries inside.

“The project starts with a very unique connection to Qingdao and the idea of actually connecting to the morphology of the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge,” says Holl. “It inspires the possibility of this whole project to become related to that linear idea.”

Three of the museums will comprise cube-shaped structures positioned at intervals along the route, while the fourth will be positioned around a public square at the centre of the complex, constructed through a mixture of sanded aliminium and stained concrete.

The surrounding spaces will be filled with gardens, pools of water and an outdoor sculpture park.

“There’s a great porosity and a great fusion between the movement across the site and the movement in the gallery system above,” says the architect. “It will have breezes coming in from the ocean that cool the entire landscape.”