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Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts

Ennead Architects

Shared By

August King

Project Name

Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts

Project Status

Concept Proposal


113,000 sq. meters


Tianjin Municipal People's Government


  • Thomas Wong
  • Don Weinreich
  • Brian Masuda
  • Grace Chen
  • Joshua Frankel
  • Margarita Calero
  • Xiaoyun Mao
  • Eliza Montgomery
  • Na Sun
  • Eric Tsui
  • Justin Woo


  • Landscape Architect: Balmori Associates, New York
  • Other: Syska Hennessy

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Project Description


This campus expansion and re-envisioning positions Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts – one of China’s top schools of fine art – as an Academy in the Park: thriving, inspired by the natural world, an oasis and destination within the dense urban fabric of Tianjin. The design is the product of a three-month international competition for the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts campus.

An identifiable core completes the institution’s historic quad and integrates the campus and its activities with adjacent neighborhoods, effectively enhancing the Academy’s influence as a creative force, as an engine for art and as a cultural and creative hub for the city and region.

The massing, scale and proportions of the new academic core building draw inspiration from the historic campus buildings, where a simple structural bay regulates the facades. Façade surfaces are sculpted with a variety of texture and depth to heighten the play of light and shadow, and imbue the architecture with a more modern, artistic sensibility.

The museum defines the Academy’s architectural identity. Geometrically pure, strikingly simple and clad in corrugated glass, this highly specialized “art container” becomes an art object itself.

The figural studio buildings are playful pavilions that sit as objects in a newly designed art park and whose sinuous shape and layered materiality contrast to the stability and rigor of the foundation buildings. Corresponding to the programs within, each interior courtyard is organized and themed around four different approaches to the making of art: Apply, Project, Shape and Experiment.

A continuous ground-level podium and concourse serving the core and professional studio buildings, unify the community: students and faculty mix in a lively environment full of study pods, social activity, exhibition areas, landscaped courtyards and art production space, connect the core and professional studio buildings.
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