Steven Holl’s takes home the commission for the culture and art center of Qingdao City. Connected to the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, the design extends this already long span by having it connected to a light loop, a transluscent skylight that serves to illuminate the exterior at night and let natural light in during the day.

Arch2o-Culture and Art Center of Qingdao City - Steven Holl (9)

Courtesy of Steven Holl

This light loop functions as demarcation of the circulation leading to the three museum spaces. Contrasting with the sinuous form of the light loop, the exhibition areas are shaped like a cube with faceted interior walls and ceilings. Not only that, but the light wells circulate around the outdoor water and sculpture gardens so that the entire structure is able to dissolve the separation between the interior and exterior.

Arch2o-Culture and Art Center of Qingdao City - Steven Holl (3)

Courtesy of Steven Holl

The three cultureal cubes contain the modern art museum, classical art museum, and the performing arts program. Each structure is placed strategically to welcome users from both the North and South. The design mixes both a faceted and curvilinear façade that is simple but visually stimulating. Its materials are stark in color, but the placement and bright color of the artificial lights complement and highlight each structure.

Arch2o-Culture and Art Center of Qingdao City - Steven Holl (6)

Courtesy of Steven Holl

The light loop employs a screen that helps to control the amount of sunlight entering the building and also allows for an option to block it out completely. Other sustainable technologies implemented are the photovoltaic cells found underneath the skylights that house about 80% of the structures’ electrical needs. The various pools designed in the green space recycle the water used and geothermal wells help to provide heating and cooling.

By Lyly Huyen

Courtesy of Steven Holl

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