Purity of volume, natural light and traditional materials blend in the design of the new OTA FINE ARTS gallery
The OTA FINE ARTS gallery is located in Shanghai, in the West Bund Culture & Art Pilot Zone; it is the third most important gallery in China after that of Tokyo and Singapore
The existing building where the client decided to install the new OTA FINE ARTS gallery was an old three-bay bungalow. The Chinese studio B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio in charge of the project chooses to dismantle it and build a completely new building with the intention of creating a work of pure design and strong aesthetic impact
Six main functional areas required by the gallery are treated as six rectangular "boxes" in order to match the shape of the lot and optimize the space available, achieving a balance between architectural form and function.
For the materials that make up the building, B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio chooses to use elements of the Shanghai tradition: from the grey Shikumen brick to the red brick of the old villas of the French colonial period, the brick seems to be the typical symbol of Shanghai buildings. In other words, brick as a texture, revamped and made "pure" by a new color, that of white. This allows to continue the building tradition and at the same time to synchronize the aesthetics of the new building with the other buildings of the modern art area of the West Bund
A single opening on the west facade: a monumental automatic stainless steel sliding door, 4 meters high, equipped with an electric induction device to facilitate its use, gives the visitor an entrance to the gallery that has a ritualistic feeling. This architectural choice allows the entire west facade to be blank and available for easy display of artworks. The eastern side of the building faces the entrance to the West Bund staff offices and is also the main façade of the gallery.
Openings of different sizes are used here to create a dialogue between the interior of the building and the exterior space.
One of the designers' focus is to maximize the window area without compromising the function of the exhibition, so that users can feel the natural communication with the outside and at the same time give the new space more intimacy and comfort.
Low-saturation solidcolor wall paint, concrete and wood floors, and custom-designed wood furniture are used in the gallery interiors giving a simple, pure and serene vibe to the entire space