NEXT architects have designed a large-scale structure to showcase this history in worthy fashion – after all, the country's rose cult dates back to the 11th century B.C. The building, 300 metres long and 17 metres high, is wrapped in an undulating stainless steel skin perforated with a rose pattern that is similar in effect to cut paper art. "The Rose Museum aims to create a new architecture for China, in which history and modernity, art and architecture blend," states Jiang Xiaofei of the Chinese branch of Next Architects, based in the Netherlands. The rose pattern creates a constant play of light and shade in the four half-open courtyards enclosed between the free-standing façade and the actual museum building, plus lights inside the building show up the flowers in silhouette at night. The museum's basic structure is reminiscent of traditional Chinese courtyard houses. The museum was officially opened in late May, on the same day as the start of the World Federation of Rose Societies Convention (WFRS) in Beijing, an event involving the participation of more than 30 countries. Over 2,000 species of rose are also on show in the 100-acre rose park.