Song Art Museum, where Western & Eastern, contemporary & traditional Link Together

way from the bustle of the city of Beijing, the Song Art Museum stands in a tranquil landscape of pine trees. Once a Victorian Villa, the museum was transformed into a modern art museum consisting 12 exhibition halls in a 2200㎡ area, where it displays arts collected by Zhongjun Wang, a private collector and one of China's richest movie moguls. The building received the Golden A' design Award for Architecture, Building and Structure Design in 2018, and the design firm Vermilion Zhou Design Group recently won the 2021 Architizer A+Firm Award "Best in Typology - Interior Design - Institutional/ Cultural" category for the building. 


Photo credit: Jonathan Leijonhufvud

The museum reduced all the decorated elements from the original Victorian style architecture, transforming its function into an artistic space for the public to appreciate. With the entire base shaped like a Chinese long scroll,  the relationship between the building and the courtyards were reorganized. scattering 199 pine trees within. With the art gallery as the main building,  classical buildings were restored and archways were placed to the left and right, which not only realizes the owner’s preference but also positions the oriental style of the museum.


Photo credit: Zhi Xia

Leaving blank space is the highest artistic concept in the art of Chinese painting, whereas geometrical form is the most objective expression of Western logic and thought. For the architecture of the gallery, the Western symbolism were removed to give the purest white, and several different geometric structures were used to connect and create a new corridor by bridging the unrelatedness between the old buildings and echoing the scenery among the courtyards; the indoor ground going underground creates a vertical openness, extending the dimensionality.


Photo credit: Zhi Xia


Photo credit: Jonathan Leijonhufvud

The significance of the museum’s existence is the presentation of art. As an exhibition platform,  the definition of the Song Art Museum is an "art container", with "art" as the mainstay and "container" as the supplement, and it serves as a form that can be replicated in the future. Our transformation of architecture and freedom of space offer the greatest possibilities.


Photo credit: Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Song Art Museum transforms everything into geometry and purity and takes “non-action” from the outside to within. What is offered here is a kind of "clean" existence. When “contemporary art” enters various forms, they can display their vocabulary and vitality without scruples. The courtyard is surrounded by pine trees, providing the external vitality of the Song Art Museum. The scenery becomes the breath of both the inside and outside, and the oriental freehand brushwork also becomes the natural rhythm of mutual reflection between traditional and modern architecture.


Photo credit: Jonathan Leijonhufvud

Technical Sheet

LocationBeijing, China
Project completion September 2017
DesignVermilion Zhou Design Group