China's Rose Museum puts the petal to the metal

NEXT Architects create a striking, stainless-steel home for floral appreciation in the Chinese capital, Beijing
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Next Architects' Rose Museum, Beijing. Photographs by Xiao Kaixiong courtesy of Next Architects
Next Architects' Rose Museum, Beijing. Photographs by Xiao Kaixiong courtesy of Next Architects

China already has more than 3,500 museums, serving around 160m visitors annually. Now the country’s culture vultures can now add to their itinerary the Beijing Rose Museum, designed by NEXT Architects.

The Dutch firm, which has an office in Beijing, “designed a solid museum volume covered by a silk-like skin of stainless steel with a papercut pattern of Chinese roses”.

 

NEXT Architects' Rose Museum, Beijing. Photographs by Xiao Kaixiong courtesy of Next Architects
NEXT Architects' Rose Museum, Beijing. Photographs by Xiao Kaixiong courtesy of Next Architects

The museum’s soft-looking stainless steel façade, 300m long and 17m high, is punctured by a rose-shaped pattern. Inside are four half-open courtyards - reminding visitors of the country’s traditional courtyards - between the façade and the main museum building.

Here, “the rose pattern creates an ever-changing play of light and shadow”, Next says. China has a centuries-long love affair with the rose, and this new 17.000 m2 building, which stands in a 100-hectare rose park, reently hosted the World Rose Convention.

 

NEXT Architects' Rose Museum, Beijing. Photographs by Xiao Kaixiong courtesy of Next Architects
NEXT Architects' Rose Museum, Beijing. Photographs by Xiao Kaixiong courtesy of Next Architects

John van de Water, a partner at NEXT Architects, says that “the main challenge with the Rose Museum was to find a modern Chinese identity for a building whose significance is so deeply rooted into Chinese culture.” Pun intended, surely.

The Beijing Rose Museum follows on from another wow-factor scheme from NEXT: a 185m-long steel pedestrian bridge in the Chinese mega city Changsha, which opened last year.

 

NEXT Architects' Rose Museum, Beijing. Photographs by Xiao Kaixiong courtesy of Next Architects
NEXT Architects' Rose Museum, Beijing. Photographs by Xiao Kaixiong courtesy of Next Architects

For more on brilliant home grown Chinese architecture order a copy of MAD Works by MAD Architects. For more beautifully rendered flora examples take a look at our new book, Plant, Robert Mapplethorpe's Flora: The Complete FlowersDaniel Ost and The Gardener's Garden.


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