OPEN Architecture (previously on WeVux) has designed UCCA Dune, a museum whose undulating form sits submerged beneath the sand dunes, beside the Bohai Sea.

The architects describe ‘UCCA Dune’ as “a return to primal and timeless forms of space”: wrapped by folds of the surrounding landscape, the underground museum has an organic composition. The 930 square meter building was inspired by children’s play at the beach, digging tirelessly in the sand dunes. Such digging, the architects explain, “creates a series of interconnected, organically shaped spaces which, enveloped by sand, resemble caves – the primeval home of man, whose walls were once a canvas for some of humanity’s earliest works of art.”

The decision of Ullens Center for Contemporary Art and OPEN Architecture to build beneath the ground, was born from a reverence for nature and a collective desire to preserve the site’s original composition. “Because of the museum, these sand dunes will be preserved instead of leveled to make space for ocean-view real estate developments,” the architects explain, “as has happened to many other dunes along the shore.”


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