The Red Brick Art Museum is a hidden gem in the outskirts of Beijing. Located a few kilometers west of the Capital Airport, the museum is definitely off the beaten path. As sculptural and articulated as they are, its tall perimeter walls opposite of shanty shops across the street, do not immediately call to mind the presence of a sophisticated cultural institution. But once through the moon gate and inside the museum compound, it is clear that this is about pure celebration of masonry architecture and garden making. Shooting the various indoor and outdoor spaces of the museum, it's hard for me not to marvel at the architect Dong Yugan's ability to create richness and drama in seemingly minute and confined areas. It's as if every time a shot is composed inside the picture frame, three more are waiting to be discovered just outside of it. Evidently, many ideas of traditional Chinese gardens have inspired the various levels within a single floor and the tightening and releasing of spaces experienced in a sequence. But its singular use of masonry as the material throughout creates a cohesion and simplicity that is rather modern and bold. The museum draws a mixed crowd from all walks of life. With spaces so infinite and textures so stimulating, small children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens all seem to enjoy their own moments of hide and seek, romantic stroll, or zen like respite.
Msheireb Downtown Museums
British Architect John Mcaslan and Partners' latest cultural project in Doha, Qatar showcases an extraordinary work of contemporary architecture rooted in Qatari traditions.
Msheireb Museums celebrate the history of four historic heritage houses in the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha. Located within the oldest part of the capital, they form an important part of Qatar’s national history. They reveal unique aspects of Qatar’s cultural and social development in inspiring to create trusted environments in which the people of Qatar will engage, converse and exchange thoughts about both their past and their future.
Msheireb Museums are an integral aspect of the inner city’s regeneration of the old commercial centre with its traditional community-based lifestyle. The restoration of the four heritage houses, Bin Jelmood House , Company House , Mohammed Bin Jassim House and Radwani House, into world-class museums forms a vital part of the Msheireb Downtown Doha development.