The Neri&Hu-designed Aranya Art Center opens in Qinhuangdao

The holistic resort’s new art space is an exploration of the relationship between architecture, art, community and nature

Drawing inspiration from Aranya’s location along Qinhuangdao’s Gold Coast, one of China’s most picturesque beaches, Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu conceived an angular structure with a carved out internal cylinder, their response to the ocean waters just outside.

A stepped amphitheatre forms the light-filled base, which can be filled to become a water feature or drained to function as a site for performances and gatherings. Throughout the building, a series of interlocking spaces house five different galleries, a cafe, multi-use exhibition space and an outdoor amphitheater, while access to the rooftop grants 360-degree views of the coastal landscape.

‘It was exciting for us to work with Aranya on this project where we were able to explore a hybrid typology which combined design, art and performance. The project pushes the boundaries of how architectural space deals with sensorial experiences in unexpected ways,’ say Neri and Hu.

Text / Simone Schultz