The handicraft museum of neri&hu qujiang as a bright beacon in China


Neri&Hu unveils its newly completed extension to the Quijang Museum of Fine Arts in Xi’an, China. The project marks a new threshold in Datang Everbright City just south of the city’s famous Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. Following the client’s request, the architects introduce a new architectural symbol at the East entrance of the existing museum. Neri&Hu leverages the idea of ​​a glowing lantern to house commercial and museum programming while standing as an illuminated beacon for the neighborhood.

While the surrounding area is already inhabited by galleries, the design of the new building has been carefully considered to minimize its impact. The result of this is a circular form, which allows a view of the rooftop landscape from any space on the second floor and above.

image © Studio Fang

a new extension for Quijang’s fine art museum

The architects at Neri&Hu organize the Quijang Museum of Fine Arts with four main elements: the partially submerged base, the Sculptural Walk circulation enclosure, the elevated podium platform and the Beacon. Partially submerged under the existing plaza, the cast concrete base is considered as a continuation of the street. At the first floor entrance, Neri&Hu have left some of the original wide steps in place, which lead down to create a sunken plaza.

The former museum and restaurant spaces have been retained within the solid concrete base, as well as new functions such as retail and restrooms — additional functions that enhance pedestrian activity.

neri&hu quijang museum
image © Zhu Runji | @zhu_runzi


The sculptural form of Neri&Hu’s Quijang Museum of Fine Arts hides a series of escalators that descend to the lower levels. The design of this form features sections that alternate between compression and expansion, culminating in a three-story light well at the bottom of the sunken plaza, creating an atmosphere of “drama and intrigue.”

The Platform, an architectural expression of a post and cantilever structure, hovers just above the sunken base. A grid of stone columns and glass curtain walls support the floating roof, which features retail spaces. The retail level is highlighted by the curtain, which separates the carved tongue of the base from the circular sculptural mass of the ‘lantern’ above.

neri&hu quijang museum
image © Zhu Runzi

The Beacon, the newly built structure covering the building, has a lounge on the second floor. Diamond-patterned red travertine masonry units are spaced to create a light transmissive effect. At the northwest end of the existing museum building, a passageway connects directly to the second-floor outdoor terrace, which is designed as an amphitheater in the shape of a hollow bowl. This terrace serves as an extension to the lounge’s dining and entertainment activities and is open to the public for various events and activities, as well as private shows and catwalks.

neri&hu quijang museum
image © Zhu Runzineri&hu quijang museum
image © Zhu Runzi

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