Located in Shanghai West Bund Culture & Art Pilot Zone, OTA FINE ARTS Gallery is the third gallery following the gallery of Tokyo and Singapore. This art gallery is the first time settled in China. Completed by B.L.U.E Architecture Studio in 2017, a brand-new and pure building is designed with full of new design language. The building has two floors and sits on 242.56 m2 of the building area.
Designed in 2017, it is also the same year as the 23rd year since the OTA FINE ARTS was founded. Hidenori Ota is the founder and also the most important promoter of Japan’s contemporary national treasure artist Kusama Yayoi. He hopes to continue to expand the new direction of Asian contemporary art by providing an art gallery as a platform for more Asian cutting-edge artists.
A three-bay old bungalow was the base of the building and the architect chooses to dismantle it and hopes to build a brand-new and pure building full of new design language. The six main functional areas required by the gallery are imagined as six-unit boxes, considering the site’s rectangular shape and also the requirement to maximize the use of the area by the owner.
The rectangular box form is used to display while the most basic unit is used to maximize the building space. A balance of architectural form and function also can be reached through a lot of block studies. At the final of the project, there are four big blocks designed and made up of six-unit boxes.
The traditional elements of Shanghai are used for building materials such as the gray brick of Shanghai traditional Shikumen and the red brick of old villa in the colonial period of France. The brick is also chosen as a texture but the architect abstracts its color into white. This white brick can show the characteristics of the city of Shanghai and also syncretize with other white buildings in the modern art area of the West Bund.
The main entrance can be found on the western side and there is no window on this side. This way allows the wall of the exhibition space to be more effective to be used. Around the building. the building western wall is combined with two buildings to create a courtyard space. The building’s eastern side faces the office entrance of the West Bund staff, becoming the main facade of the gallery. The different sized windows also can create a dialogue between the outdoor space and the interior.
OTA FINE ARTS Gallery
Photographer: Eiichi Kano