The new Guangdong Museum is one of the 'Ten Works' of Guangdong Province and one of its three landmark cultural facilities. Covering a gross floor area of 66,980m2, the museum is located by the north bank of the Pearl River at the axis of Tianhe District, the new Central Business District of Guangzhou. Arup was engaged as structural, façade and acoustic designers on the project.
The five-storey building houses four large exhibition halls with a collection of over 130,000 exhibits. The design was inspired by the antique Chinese lacquer box, in which precious objects are collected. This perfectly echoes the function of the museum which keeps and displays important, historical cultural artifacts of the Guangdong area. The building also features a traditional Chinese courtyard motif, organised in a series of layered spaces. Arup’s façade design reflects the ‘treasure box pattern’.
A feature of the museum’s design is the elevation of the main exhibition space, hung from the roof, which creates a clear circulation space underneath, requiring innovative structural design to accomplish the architect's intention.
The new Guangdong Museum, together with Guangzhou International Financial Center (West Tower) and Canton Tower, has added a new dimension to the urban landscape of the emerging business and cultural district poised for the international map.