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Azure's July/August 2019 Issue cover
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July/August 2019

#273
July/August 2019

From a groundbreaking seaside museum in China to an elegant new sofa by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Azure’s July/August issue unveils the 20 winners of the ninth annual AZ Awards!

Peeking out from beneath a seaside sand dune on the coast of Bohai Bay in northern China, the Dune Art Museum evokes an exquisite alien artifact, revealed by the same winds that formed the beach’s unique topography over thousands of years. 

The building’s designers, Beijing firm OPEN Architecture, sought to embed the structure within the landscape in order to preserve it: Many similar geographical features along the same shoreline have been destroyed by luxury real estate developments that have plowed over the dunes to open up panoramic ocean vistas. To fuse the architecture with this environment, the architects shaped the museum as a series of organic forms not unlike natural caves. However, these chambers are neither dark nor dank. Each of the building’s eight galleries is awash in sunlight that floods in through a series of skylights, as well as larger openings at the side of the dune that expose the interiors to sweeping views of the bay. 

Dune Art Museum, AZ Awards
“The Dune Art Museum embodies a unique relationship between interior and exterior. The space speaks of the place, and the materiality coherently fosters the concept.”
Stefano Pujatti

The curvaceous volumes were hand-shaped by local workers, including many former shipbuilders, using intricate formwork. This technique lends the concrete walls a rugged texture that is in stark contrast to the complex geometries and modern feeling of the spaces, which are painted a bright white that allows the sunlight to gently reflect within the rooms. Skylights are carefully positioned throughout to ensure the inner reaches of the structure enjoy natural lighting year-round, and the roof’s sandy covering helps keep the interior cool in summer. The institution is working, with the help of the local community, to restore native plant life atop the dunes, and the ever-strengthening root systems of the native grasses and flowers will help ensure longevity for both this delicate ecosystem and the museum itself. 

AZ Awards category Architecture: Buildings Under 1,000 SQM Project Dune Art Museum Location Qinhuangdao, China Firm OPEN Architecture, Beijing, China Team Li Hu and Huang Wenjing with Zhou Tingting, Wang Mengmeng, Hu Boji, Fang Kuanyin, Joshua Parker, Lu Di, Lin Bihong, Ye Qing, Steven Shi and Jia Han

AZ Awards 2019 Winner: Dune Art Museum

Protecting the sand dunes of coastal China, this art museum by OPEN Architecture in the winner in Architecture: Buildings Under 1,000 Square Metres.

AZURE is an independent magazine working to bring you the best in design, architecture and interiors. We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.