Büro Ole Scheeren Reveals Design for Beijing’s Guardian Arts Center

The Guardian Arts Centre, Beijing Photo: Büro Ole Scheeren

Architecture firm Büro Ole Scheeren has unveiled the design for the Guardian Arts Center, the new headquarters of Beijing’s oldest art auction house, the China Guardian.

Plans to open the center were announced about ten months ago (see China Guardian Restructures in Wake of Poly Culture’s IPO).

Located just a stone’s throw away from the Forbidden City, the building is conceived as a mixed-use space that will house a museum, the auction house, and an event space, and is meant to reference the materials in its traditional surroundings.

The lower floors of the two-tier building, designed for the auction house and a 1,700 sq. meter exhibition wing, consist of “pixelated” blocks arranged in subtle perforations inspired by a 700-year-old Chinese landscape painting.

The upper section will contain a 120-room hotel and a restaurant, and is made from oversized glass bricks, paying homage to the traditional Chines hutongs in the surrounding area.

The design pays homage to the adjacent hutongs

The design pays homage to the adjacent hutongs
Photo: Büro Ole Scheeren

Chen Dongsheng, the Guardian’s chairman and founder, wrote in a statement, “Ole Scheeren’s work is rooted in culture and history; it reflects the culture of the site and the culture and customs of the Chinese people. He merges all these elements in his creation, endowing architecture with its social life and meaning.”

Ole Scheeren, who have designed several landmark buildings in Asia, including the MahaNakhon skyscraper in Bangkok, Angkasa Raya in Kuala Lumpur and DUO, in Singapore said, “I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to design this Art Center, which allows me to pay tribute to a country and city where I have now worked for over a decade.”

He added, “The building is located at a historic site that holds special significance to China, at an intersection of two streets, and two worlds…It explicitly pays respect to its context and location but also comes to embody the nature of an auction house at the intersection of culture and commerce.”

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