OMA Reveals Hovering Exhibition Space in Shanghai

The space is built into a former ship cradle.

Rem Koolhaas’s firm OMA has completed the Shanghai Lujiazui Exhibition Centre situated on the Huangpu River. The strikingly designed building sits on the ramp of what used to be a ship cradle and juts out and above the square below.

The original purpose of the structure makes for the unusual design: where the ramp once was, there’s now space for an outdoor theater and the glass-fronted exhibition space is suspended above the public square below.

Photo courtesy OMA

The refurbished structure is also meant to mirror that of an unfinished ship’s hull, in reference to the site’s former life as a shipyard. The skeleton of the building is wrapped in a mesh, revealing in part what is underneath and allowing light to cut right through the space.

The innovative structure of the building enables its mixed-use as a place for performance, film, and theater, as well as art exhibitions.

Photo courtesy OMA

OMA is responsible for some of the most lauded art venues built in recent times, from the upcoming Foundation Lafayette in Paris, to Fondazione Prada in Milan, the Garage Museum in Moscow, Nai Schatkamer in Rotterdam, The Design Museum in London, and the National University Museum of Art, in Seoul. They are also designing a huge arts hub in Dubai.

Lujiazui Harbour City, where the space is housed, is a huge urban development in Shanghai which will on completion contain buildings by Kengo Kuma, KPF BENOY, and Arquitectonica, as well as OMA. When realized, the development will see the area transformed from an old shipyard to a financial district containing galleries, luxury apartments, and five-star hotels.

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