David Chipperfield Architects Shanghai

Shanghai, China


Soft Cells Broadline panels by Kvadrat Acoustics covered with 100% Trevira CS Kvadrat textiles: Field, Patio and Melu Acoustic.

Aven Jiang

Radiant by the river

Soft Cells Broadline panels by Kvadrat Acoustics enhance aesthetic and acoustic quality in diverse spaces at the West Bund Museum. The building, a multifunctional art gallery, which embodies the idea that modern museums are more than just a destination for viewing art, is located on the Shanghai Corniche, on the bank of the Huangpu River. 

A total of 453 Soft Cells Broadline panels feature in the Auditorium, Studio in Creativity Gallery and The Box. They are primarily specified for their strong acoustic performance, their ability to minimize panel joints and their fixture-integration flexibility. 

In the Auditorium, a multipurpose hall, the Soft Cells panels – covered in the textile Field, in black – are installed on walls. The largest panels of the project, at 6,045 m long, are installed here. 

Field in black is also the choice for the Soft Cells panels that are employed on walls and ceilings in The Box, an art space. In addition to its fire-retardancy performance, the textile was chosen for its ability to bring a sense of mystery to the space. 

The Studio, an education space, incorporates Soft Cells panels on the walls upholstered in Patio. On the ceiling, panels covered in Melu Acoustic comprise an elegant hinged solution which simplifies maintenance. All the Soft Cells panels in the space are in white tones.

“We love the Kvadrat Acoustics solution for its great physical quality, generous panel size, and its clean and thoughtful means of fixture integration,” says Libin Chen, Director of the Shanghai office, David Chipperfield Architects.

West Bund Museum consists of three main gallery volumes placed in pinwheel formation around a central lobby with a double-height atrium. This configuration allows for the different components of the museum to operate independently. 

Visitors to the cultural hub can either descend into a sunken courtyard at a lower level or climb a set of stairs from the esplanade to arrive in the central lobby at a higher level. Both of these levels give access to the main gallery spaces.

Each of the main galleries is 17 m high and comprises an upper and lower level. On the upper level they host a top-lit gallery space. The lower level spaces, which are partially sunken and lit by clerestory windows, vary in function, housing a multipurpose hall, an art studio and education spaces. 

The three dominant volumes of West Bund Museum are clad with translucent recycled glass. The facades appear iridescent during the day and prismatic at night, which creates an intriguing contrast with the smooth brightness of the plaster-clad hovering roof canopies. The pin-wheel configuration of the galleries is reinforced with large windows at their outer ends offering panoramic views over the park, the river and the city.

West Bund Museum officially opened to the public on November 8, 2019, with its five-year-long Centre Pompidou × West Bund Museum project launched at the same time. Through this cooperation project, a series of exhibitions, seminars and other exchange activities will be organized and hosted, including 3 permanent exhibitions and over 10 feature exhibitions at West Bund Museum in Shanghai, and at least 3 exhibitions focused on modern and contemporary Chinese art among other cultural events at the Centre Pompidou based in Paris, France. The two institutions will also jointly hold performances, conferences, public educational activities, and more.