Eschewing the peacock-like sensibility and landmark-seeking status of ostentatious architecture meant to advertise the arrival of a new cultural venue, the recently unveiled UCCA Dune Art Museum is a modest endeavour: buried under the sand dunes of Bohai Bay outside the port city of Qinhuangdao in northern China, the structure is barely visible let alone conspicuous. Operated by the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, China’s leading independent institution of contemporary art, the Museum was designed by New York and Beijing-based practice OPEN Architecture in the form of ten inter-connected, cave-like galleries where visitors can experience art in meditative detachment. What’s more, by preserving the thousands-of-years-in-the-making, fragile coastal environment, the Museum’s subterranean architecture, named “Best in Buildings Under 1,000 Square Metres” at the 2019 AZ Awards, also reflects a deep commitment to the site’s natural ecology.

Courtesy of Yatzer