Opening date announced for China’s first design museum

22 November 2017
  • Maki & Associates
  • Design Society
  • Maki & Associates
  • Maki & Associates
  • Design Society



The Sea World Culture and Arts Centre designed by Fumiko Maki will open to the public in December 2017

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and state-owned China Merchants Shekou Holdings (CMSK) have revealed the opening date for China’s first design museum, set to open on December 2nd 2017 with three exhibitions. Tim Reeve, Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of V&A, said: “This is a pioneering international collaboration for the V&A and represents an exciting new way for us to build on our long history of working in and with China.”

The organisations worked together to form the brand Design Society, through which they hope to express the potential of how design can positively impact the social, cultural and environmental challenges of our age. Ole Bouman, founding director of the Society, said: “The future belongs to those who are agile, curious and creative, and who can deploy these qualities in an applied human endeavour, in design.”

The museum forms part of the Shenzhen Sea World Cultural Arts Centre, a large-scale urban development, containing retail, commercial, and residential buildings, as well as arts facilities. Designed by Fumiko Maki, the Centre has a footprint of 26,000 sq m with 71,000 sq m of floor space. Four floors above ground and two floors underground house a design museum where the V&A Gallery is located, together with other cultural facilities including Shenzhen Guanfu Museum, a theatre, and BAOKU Art Centre.

Maki designed three cantilevered volumes above a deconstructed plinth, opening up horizons to the mountain, the sea and the city. The form of the building stresses the natural features of the geography, facing the ocean to the south, the adjacent park, and the mountains to the north. The circulation loops around the internal atria, all of which are closely tied to the exterior plazas. The park extends onto the roof garden via two grand stairways, building a sense of drama in the landscape.

One of the Design Society’s opening exhibitions, Nurturing Dreams in Recent Work: Fumihiko Maki + Maki and Associates, will examine the Culture and Arts Centre itself, alongside Maki’s work developed over fifty years of architectural practice.  

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Research Specialist & Editor

The original design tender for the Sea World Cultural Arts Centre was published in Tenderstream’s database on 19/11/2013, including English translation. Please see the original document here.

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