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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

The National Art Museum of China by UNStudio

November 13th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: UNStudio

”Stone Drums” and ”MO BAO”
This design for the NAMOC presents an emblem of Chinese culture and a national museum of global significance for the 21st Century. The architectural concept is based on uniting dualities; past and future, day and night, inside and outside, calm and dynamic, large and small, individual and collective.


  • Architect: UNStudio
  • Name of Project: The National Art Museum of China
  • Location: Beijing, China

The two volumes of the building reference ancient Chinese ‘stone drums’, large drum-shaped stones bearing inscriptions in ancient Chinese. The exteriors of the two volumes are illuminated by art projections, creating  a vast media facade as a contemporary translation of the ancient stone drum inscriptions.

Postcard LED

Whilst the architecture of the museum is represented by the ancient artifact of the stone drum, the art within represents its spirit, or its “essence”. In the same way that the agile strokes of ink in a Chinese painting give spirit to a blank piece of paper, the art collection gives spirit to the museum.


The main  focus of the design for the NAMOC is to create optimal and varied spaces for the display of art. Spaces of different character, but all offering extensive lighting possibilities and ample wall space in order to provide artists and curators with the optimal conditions in which to display their work and communicate their ideas. The design also incorporates high levels of circulation space, with the internal organisation divided into different routes, each guiding different visitor groups around themed sequences of art and additional programmes.

Duality of gallery

The NAMOC is strongly embedded within its cultural and urban context. The public urban plinth plateaus of the cultural district act as 24/7 connectors and attractors between the levels of the street, the underground, and the museum volumes.



Half Final Education

Lobby View


Building permeability

Nod positions Routing


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Category: Museum

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