Siza and Castanheira pair sandstone and concrete for Hangzhou Bauhaus museum

The Chinese Academy of Art’s most recently acquired Bauhaus pieces are displayed inside this new exhibition space, which is set alongside buildings by Wang Shu.

Álvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira, CAA Museum, 2018

The new campus building by Portuguese architects Álvaro Siza and Carlos Castanheira in Hangzhou was developed to provide the Chinese Academy of Art (CAA) with extra exhibition space for its vast in-house art collection. The Chinese institution also needed an exclusive space to set up its recently-acquired selection of Bauhaus pieces that will turn the academy into a must-see international venue to celebrate the Bauhaus centenary next year.

The brief was to design a 16,000 sqm museum space on a triangular-shaped site of 8,000 sqm, with restrictions defined by the surrounding natural landscape. The project is an addition to Pritzker Prize Wang Shu’s existing campus buildings.

“The help that we received from both Wang Shu and his architect wife Lu Wenyu during the early stages of our work, and even today, were and continue to be fundamental,” explained Castanheira.

The internal layout facilitates visitors flow around the space and enhances program flexibility as, serving an art academy, its main purpose is to display the results of various academic activities. The three floors are each dedicated to different purposes. 

The permanent exhibition of the Bauhaus collection is set on the top floor, which connects to a roof garden via a ramp. At ground level, there are further exhibitions halls and auditoria, while archives, the cafe and service spaces are positioned in the basement. The south-facing upper floors are dedicated to administration areas and workshops. 

A white-concrete, free-standing volume at the southern wing provides the entrance of the general public, while the main body of the building is clad in Red Agra sandstone from India. Inside, white interiors are lined in marble, and punctuated by aluminium and wood frames. 

Álvaro Siza with Carlos Castanheira
campus building and museum
Hangzhou, China
Portugal Office:
CC&CB, Arquitectos
Principal in charge:
Pedro Carvalho
Adalberto Dias, Carolina Leite, Catarina Rodrigues, Diana Vasconcelos, Elisabete Queirós, Francesca Tiri, Germano Vieira, Joana Soeiro, João Figueiredo, Jorge Santos, Nuno Campos, Pedro Afonso, Rita Ferreira, Sara Pinto, Susana Oliveira
Local office:
The Design Institute of Landscape & Architecture, China Academy of Art
Local office architecture::
Liu Ke, Zhao Yaunpeng, Jiang Weihua
Local office structures:
Shentu Taunbing, Chen Yongbing
Zhu Weiping, Yu Xiaofen ( Hydraulical), Jin Guogang, Wang Yonghong ( Electrical) Chen Chunji, Teng Liang ( HVAC)
Intelligent design:
Sun Mingliang, Sin Minjun
Hangzhou Zhida Archit. Science & Technology Co.,Ltd , Zhang Shanming, He Haixia
Raul Bessa, Paulo Fidalgo
3D models:
Germano Vieira, Pedro Afonso
Total surface area:
16,000 sqm
Site area:
8,000 sqm

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