Shanghai Museum looks east

Zhou Yubin
Construction work on Shanghai Museum’s east branch will begin at the end of this month in Pudong. It will be more than twice the size of the museum in Puxi.
Zhou Yubin
Shanghai Museum looks east

An artist rendition of the exterior of Shanghai Museum’s east branch. 

Construction work on Shanghai Museum’s east branch will begin at the end of this month in Pudong.

City authorities claim it will mark another milestone in the cultural development of the Pudong New Area.  

Once completed, it will join other landmarks in the area such as the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum, the Oriental Arts Center, the east branch of the Shanghai Library and Century Park.

Complementing the Shanghai Museum in People’s Square, the spacious east branch will offer a new opportunity for the museum and locals to forge a closer relationship and admire the ancient Chinese exhibits.  

The new building will open in 2020 in the Lianyang Community, with Yanggao Road S. to the west, Century Avenue to the north and Dingxiang Road to the east.

It will cover 105,000 square meters — more than twice the size of the museum in Puxi — with six stories above ground and two basement.

Young designer and professor Li Li from Tongji University created an open design and the Tongji Architectural Design Co Ltd balanced the design with other cultural buildings in the neighborhood. 

The new building will feature a simple and elegant rectangular form. Its marble surface will symbolize the waves in the ocean, as Shanghai is a meeting point of land and sea and seen as a pioneer moving forward into the future. It will have open balconies, terraces and gardens and streamline appearance.

The open spaces will offer an enchanting view of Lujiazui business district.

Shanghai Museum looks east

The Shanghai Museum, which opened in 1996, is home to more than 140,000 precious artifacts, featuring bronzes, ceramics, paintings and calligraphy. It has been hailed as one of the best museums in ancient Chinese art, both at home and abroad. 

With the extra space, the new museum will significantly increase the rotation frequency of the museum’s collections.

It will focus on the cultural storylines in Chinese art rather than stick to the traditional exhibition system of dividing exhibits by categories.The Pudong building will hold themed exhibitions reflecting the depth of Chinese art and let the antiques tell their stories.

It is set to become a cultural landmark and showcase the range of Chinese art, the city’s importance and unique position in it.

Another key function of the Pudong branch of the museum is to explore the educational, research and social communication functions of the museum.

It will be an open platform for exhibiting artifacts, cultural education and ancient cultural research, as well as a public space to enjoy art.

Visitors to this new cultural landmark can learn from multi-styled events. It is expected to play a key role in delivering cultural services to the community.

Getting the visitors, especially youngsters, interested in culture and becoming more active in the museum’s events is another mission of the east branch.

It will work on many new measures to improve the experience of museum tours, such as open displays of the repairing of cultural relics, an “open warehouse” of exhibits and special exhibitions of national treasures.

An interactive space for youngsters will also be opened in the east branch, along with educational spaces, reading rooms and a cinema. The spacious area will offer more affiliated functions than the current Shanghai Museum. 

Citizens and tourists can spend leisure time at its planned art bookstore, a themed café and gift store.

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