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Blossoms of Stainless Steel: Rose Museum in Beijing

A 100-hectare park, a 20,000-m² congress centre and a rose museum: anyone who still needs convincing that everything in China is bigger can experience this at the Asian regional congress of the World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS) that will take place in southern Beijing in summer 2016. The WFRS is an umbrella association of more than 100,000 rose enthusiasts around the world, each of whom belongs to one of 41 national organizations.

NEXT Architects, who have offices in Amsterdam and Beijing, won the international competition to design this new museum, which measures 17,000-m², in 2014. Their design is based on the example – somewhat abstracted – of old Chinese courtyard buildings, which feature walled gardens. The architects wanted to create similar semi-private exterior spaces for the rose museum. The role of the garden wall is played by the outer stainless-steel shell, which acts simultaneously as both façade and shade-giving roof. It is 300 metres long, up to 17 metres tall and perforated with large-format rose motifs which make the theme and content of the museum discernible from outside.

In contrast to the half-open courtyard, the museum itself has no windows. The façades are clad with profile glass elements. Inside, a multimedia spectacle with its share of kitsch shows the role of the rose in Chinese art, culture and fashion.

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