Tsinghua Art Museum, Tsinghua University, Beijing

Tsinghua Art Museum, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (2002-2016)
Competition project: 2002
Later project phases: 2008/2012
Construction: 2012-2016
Client: Tsinghua University, Beijing
Architect: Mario Botta Architect and Ass. LLC
Architect of record and engineers: CABR Building Design Institute, Beijing
Site area: 16’000 m²
Useful surface: 30’000 m²
Volume: 156’000 m³
The building housing the Tsinghua Art Museum (TAM) is the result of a competition project
of 2002. It is in the Campus of the Tsinghua University in Beijing and was inaugurated in
September 2016.
The building is a long parallelepiped placed between the rectorate building to the west and the
Campus boundary road to the east. It is clad in horizontal bands of pink granite, smooth or
split. It consists of four exhibition levels and is characterized by a big portico with huge
columns facing the broad open space to the south. The portico leads to the lobby, where a
majestic staircase crosses the whole building lengthwise and leads to the upper exhibition
floors. The big central space created by the staircase is the distinctive feature and the heart of
the building: a kind of spatial caesura that allows visitors to perceive the space between the
ground floor and the ceiling, characterized by a grid of skylights that let natural light flood the
last exhibition floor. It occupies the whole surface and can be divided in different rooms
according to the exhibition programmes and paths. In the Campus, the building gives a
balanced relationship between the open spaces and the interiors: a covered plaza that
generously welcomes the visitors.