A new jewel sparkles in Shanghai

Celebrating contemporary art and cutting-edge design



Positioned in a “poetic location” on the tip of Pudong’s Lujiazui CBD area, the site for the Museum of Art Pudong sat vacant for years, waiting for a building that would make a meaningful contribution to China’s buzzing metropolis.

Directly below the famous Oriental Pearl Tower, and opposite the remarkable historic architecture of the Bund, the significance of the site required a carefully considered approach. Enter Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, who made headlines with other buildings such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and who has created a building that brings together the substance of stone with the sheerness of glass.

At a glance

  • Client
    Shanghai Lujiazui (Group) Co., Ltd
  • Services
    Cost Management & Quantity Surveying
  • sector
    Public & Civic
  • Location
    Shanghai, China

Collaboration that challenges the norm

A long-standing collaboration with client Shanghai Lujiazui that has achieved outstanding outcomes on a range of projects, and previous work on the game-changing Louvre Abu Dhabi, made RLB the natural choice to provide full cost management services on the Museum of Art Pudong project.

"Innovative design, by its very nature, is difficult to cost. Employing new equipment, materials, systems and technology means there are rarely established benchmarks. Controlling costs can be a big challenge – but one with RLB’s team met with great success on the spectacular Museum of Art Pudong.”
Wang Wei Qing, Director, RLB

RLB’s people-oriented approach, enthusiasm for innovation and professional capabilities proved a winning combination on a project that is sure to turn heads for many years to come.

A supreme but simple design solution

Clad in white granite, the building offers a substantial yet sympathetic addition to the Shanghai skyline. Inspired by the simple monochrome geometry of the Suprematism abstract art movement, specifically Malevich’s White on White (1918), the Museum of Art Pudong imposes its presence through various shades of white.

Creating a unique sense of arrival

The building’s internal walls, exterior façade and landscape, roof as well as a 73-metre long sky bridge that extends to the bank of the Huangpu River, are all are made from a natural stone, Shandong white hemp. The selection of this material integrates the interior and exterior spaces and reflects Nouvel’s concept of ‘territory’. Visitors experience a sense of arrival long before they step into the doors of the museum.

  • 40,590
    GFA multi-use museum with four storeys above ground
  • 13,000
    site beside the landmark Oriental Pearl television tower
  • 12
    high glass panels weigh 10 tonnes

A new jewel to rival the Oriental Pearl

The building, featuring two large glass walls, opens like a jewellery box. The museum’s exterior façade is made from super-thick energy-saving glass with the larger one soaring up to 12 metres and weighing 10 tonnes. The waters of the Huangpu River sparkle in the reflective surface of the glass. The two mirrored glass and LED display screens are linked at night by laser beams that create intersecting lines of light. The design reflects the landscape, reinterprets a rich history and contributes to China’s dynamic contemporary culture.

Inspired by imagination and innovation

Aside from the permanent and temporary gallery spaces of multiple heights, the Museum of Art Pudong also boasts a theatre, roof terrace, various food and beverage offerings, a library and offices. Finding clever cost solutions that balance practicality and beauty is not always easy, but a talented project team showed why the best outcomes always come from the best people.