The building will be located north of the Forbidden City, next to the Olympic Stadium "Bird's Nest" bureau Herzog & de Meuron. With a height of 65 m, a length of 225 m and a total area of 120 774 m2, it is designed to display works of traditional and contemporary art.
Jean Nouvel compares his construction with a line drawn by a calligrapher: he substantiated his entire project in terms of this traditional Chinese art.
The facades will be decorated with carved stone panels, glass and metal, in the interior the most "bright" space will be the red lobby along the entire length of the building. There will be a winter garden and a restaurant on the roof, and a vertical "shaft" with soft lighting for the exposition of graphic works is also provided. The opening of the museum is scheduled for 2015. It will be part of the ensemble of the not yet built Museum of Sinology and the Museum of Arts and Crafts.
The history of this competition, both extremely prestigious and closed, was no less interesting than the project. Information about Nouvel's victory appeared for the first time in August 2012, but the architect confirmed it only now - however, official Chinese sources are in no hurry to support him. At the same time, the competition began in 2010, when more than 150 architects applied for participation in it.
20 bureaus reached the semifinals - 7 Chinese, including MAD, Studio Pei-Zhu and Yun Ho Chan's workshop, and 13 western ones, including OMA and UNStudio. There were only 5 participants in the final - Nouvelle, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid (these three also met in the “super final”), Moshe Safdie and Herzog & de Meuron, who left the race of their own free will.
According to one of the participants, the organizers wanted a building so "iconic" that it would overshadow the nearby "Bird's Nest". The competition itself was conducted in detail, with a considerable number of meetings with customers and trips to China, although the composition of the jury remained a secret. There was also talk about lobbying "their" finalists through political channels. A clear proof of this was the inspection by the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, accompanied by Frank Gehry, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles during the visit of the Chinese leader to the United States.