Staircase by Tadao Ando

Architect Tadao Ando revealed design for the He Art Museum in China

Opening to the public in March, the he art museum will be the first art museum dedicated to celebrating southern China's regional culture.

The monumental stairs, designed to allow visitors to travel from ground floor to top floor in opposite directions at the same time is capped by an oculus: a representation of ancient Chinese cosmology that declared the sky is round and the earth is square. 

Local Billionaire entrepreneur He Jianfeng, founded the museum and will be home for his family's collection of over 400 works by both Chinese and international artists. With a great emphasis on indigenous art, the museum's mission is to display, illuminate and celebrate Southern Chinese culture.

Ando's vision is very much aligned to this. He created a museum that synthesises southern China's rich diverse cultures. "I imagined HEM as an energetic central anchor point to all the artistic and regional custom, climate, landscape and civilisation in Lignan", he told Arch Digest.  In addition to cosmology, he found design influences in the architecture of the nearby Jiangnan delta region (home to Shanghai), which has a similar terrain to southern China, as well as the founder’s surname, He, which is also a Chinese word meaning “balance,” “fortune,” “harmony,” and “union.”

Art museum in china

HEM museum construction site

HEM Museum concrete

HEM museum

Photos Courtesy of @HEM