Located in one wing of the West Bund Museum, the new gallery is on the Shanghai Corniche, the northern bank of the Huangpu River in the Xuhui district, presently going through sweeping renewal and destined to become one of the main cultural attractions of the city.
The architectural complex with an area of 22,000 m2 is composed of three volumes organized around a central courtyard, with a two-story lobby: a configuration that permits the various sectors of the museum to function independently.
Each volume, with a height of 17 meters, has an upper level with a gallery lit from above, and a lower level that varies according to the function: multipurpose hall, art studio, education space. The bookstore and cafe are located on a middle level connected directly to Longteng Avenue.
The roof is supported by a monumental tapered column. In contrast with the bright luminosity of the suspended canopies clad in plaster, the three main volumes are covered in recycled translucent glass, giving the whole complex an opaline appearance. The frontage of 8.5 km thus seems iridescent in the daytime and multifaceted at night. Large windows at the extremities offer panoramic view of the park, the river and the city.
The cultural collaboration between France and China calls for a multidisciplinary program over the next five years that includes three semi-permanent exhibitions and two temporary exhibitions per year.