World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Rockbund Art Museum

Article Id: WHEBN0040164702
Reproduction Date:

Title: Rockbund Art Museum  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, Power Station of Art, Xu Guangqi Memorial Hall, Hou Hanru
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rockbund Art Museum

The Rockbund Art Museum

The Rockbund Art Museum (RAM, [3] Featured Chinese artists have included Cai Guo-Qiang and Zeng Fanzhi.[4]


Rockbund Art Museum is located in the peninsular headland where Suzhou Creek flows into the Huangpu River, in an area now marketed as the "Source of the Bund" (Waitanyuan). The museum is housed in the former Royal Asiatic Society (RAS) building, which was also home to one of China's first modern museums, the previous Shanghai Museum. Adjacent to the Former Consulate-General of the United Kingdom, Shanghai, this neighborhood was one of the first settlements of foreign expatriates, and a centre of cultural and commercial prosperity.

Started in 1932, the Art Deco RAS building was part of the history of 19th and 20th century Sino-European cultural and academic exchange. At its height, this five-story building, which contained a lecture hall, a library, and a museum, received over 7,000 visits a month. Bringing together the functions of scholarly research, cultural exchange and public education under one roof, this structure was unique in Shanghai at the time.

During the half-century of its existence, the RAS Shanghai Museum had established collaborative relationships with museums internationally, including the British Museum, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Musée Guimet in France. Through its programmes, it contributed to scholarship in related disciplines, cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world, and the dissemination of scientific knowledge in the community. Eventually it had become the largest center for Oriental Studies as well as an institution for public education.

In 1952, RAS closed its operation in China. At its request, its collections were transferred to the new Shanghai Municipal Services, which included 20,328 natural specimens, 6,663 historical artifacts and over 14,000 books and documents. They were then reallocated to Shanghai Natural History Museum, the new Shanghai Museum and the Bibliotheca Zi-Ka-Wei (the Xujiahui Library, a special collection of the Shanghai Library), forming the core collection of the three institutions respectively.


In 2005, the Shanghai Bund de Rockefeller Group Master Development Co. Ltd. obtained the right to develop the area. With consideration for its historical and cultural heritage, and as a form of contribution to the community, the developer decided to restore the RAS building, and to renovate it into a public museum for contemporary art.

The British architect David Chipperfield,[5] who had previously directed the planning of the Museum Island in Berlin, was In charge of the task of restoration and design planning of the building in 2007, maintaining a minimalist style.[4] The building was originally designed by the British design firm Palmer and Turner. In highlighting a blend of Western architectural elements with Shanghai's cityscape, the firm incorporated traditional Chinese decorative elements in the building and created a unique hybrid architectural style. In an effort to retain the original flavour of the historical building, David Chipperfield chose to stay consistent to the original 1932 design in the building’s main exterior facade in the restoration.

To facilitate the functions of a modern art museum, the restoration, extended the building eastward, creating an open plaza on the ground floor, and a rooftop outdoor terrace on the eastern façade, the new parts echoing the old. At the same time, to meet the periodic changes necessary for modern art exhibitions, the designer made modifications to the existing space. The biggest renovation is in the skylight design that connects the upper three floors. For the interior colour scheme, the building's original precedent was followed, with light colours in the exhibition spaces with black steel and wooden furniture, providing a clean backdrop for exhibitions.


The nearest Metro station is East Nanjing Road Station on Shanghai Metro Line 2 and Line 10.



  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^

External links

  • Official website

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.