He Art Museum

He Art Museum, Tadao Ando Architect & Associates


He Art Museum (HEM), is a private non-profit art institution located in Shunde, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and hopes to be a place devoting to exhibition, research, education and dissemination of knowledge about modern Chinese art and global contemporary art. The architecture of HEM, totaling 16,000 square meters, is designed by architect Tadao Ando.

Ando’s design presents his signature with the use of slick concrete, represented by the double-helix staircases in the central courtyard. From the architectural design to the craftsmanship on the details, are presented through a variety of circles. This is an attempt to create a new culture center that integrates Lingnan culture by extracting the unique meaning of its geometric form in the regional context. The double-helix staircase and the courtyard correspond to the overlapping circles.

This dynamic presents the rich layers of the spaces that can only be achieved by the dual-spiral design. “He” in Chinese carries multiple meanings: harmony, balance, fortune and union. Tadao Ando has drawn from these connotations and Lingnan architecture’s technique of spatial integration for HEM’s design.

In ancient Chinese cosmology and philosophy, the saying of “round sky, square earth” is reserved until today in Lingnan region, which influences the design of the circle and the square exhibition spaces in HEM. Western architects are skillful at the use of light such as churches; this has a deep impression on Ando’s design. The central skywell floods the museum with natural light, creating spaciousness, clarity and a symbol of hope.