The CAFA Art Museum is a professional and international modern art museum that conducts academic research, presents exhibitions, restores artworks and provides art education. The museum upholds the philosophy of open-mindedness and is rooted in the concept of using knowledge to serve society. It aims to bridge the past and the future through presenting great artistic and cultural accomplishments of our humanity, and share the culture of our times with all quarters of society.
The new building for the CAFA Art Museum was designed by the noted Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. This is the architect’s first museum design in China. Built on a curved site, the museum has a floor area of 3,546 square meters and covers a total of 14,777 square meters. The exterior stone walls and the curved roof gradually converge to form a shell shape, like a rounded boomerang. Large glass walls at the entrance and exit add to the transparency of the building, which also meets the lighting needs. The grey-green stone plates on the exterior of the museum coordinate with the grey bricks of the other buildings on the Central Academy of Fine Arts campus, presenting a diversity within a larger visual unity.
The museum is 24 meters high, with a total of six levels: two below ground and four above ground. It contains a café, a multi-functional conference room and a 380-seat auditorium, as well as offices, storage spaces, and restoration rooms for administrative purposes. The second floor is a relatively closed space, lit entirely by artificial lights to prevent artworks from UV light damage. The space is illuminated with Erco lights from Germany, and granite was used as the flooring to resolve reflections of light. There are also glass display cases on this level, providing the ideal secure space for exhibiting artworks. With an 11-meters ceiling in the highest, the third floor is a vast space free of pillars. It is well illuminated by natural lights, and in conjunction with the fourth floor, it can accommodate artworks in a range of sizes.