Moae- Huamao Museum of Art and Education, Ningbo, China

中國寧波Moae 華茂藝術教育博物館

Álvaro Siza + Carlos Castanheira

Small on the outside and immense inside.

A Museum must be big. Inside.

A Museum must be bright. Inside.


The Art Education Museum is a small Museum that is immense inside. Leaning against on the hillside, its undulating form hovers above the ground. It is intriguing in its elegance and in its mystery.


Nothing is obvious in this little building. The public entrance is reached after passing around the form of the building and experiencing an imposed, absorbing compression, to then be released into a vast space, the full height of the building, where a snaking ramp links all the floor levels. This exercise of compression and release is constant during the visit. This diversity in routes and the interconnection of spaces makes this small building vast inside.


Its volume is equally challenging. From the exterior it is suspended above the ground as it undulates in its metal cladding. It reflects the ever-changing daylight that makes the form move and transform. Incessantly. Inside, the introspective calm of the exhibition spaces contrasts with the movement of the visitors circulating in the enormous void. Dynamism is taught through Art. Size doesn’t matter, but a Museum must have a Big Soul.










Architects:Álvaro Siza + Carlos Castanheira

Structural Engineering:Hangzhou MJP Mechanical & Electrical Design Consultant Ltd

Contractor:Zhejiang Wanhua Construction Ltd

Character of Space:Museum

Client:Ningbo Huamao Education Culture Investment Ltd.

Building Area:5.300㎡

Principal Materials:Metal Cladding.Concrete

Principal Structure:Steel

Location:Dongqian Lake, Ningbo, China


Interview:Rowena Liu

Text:Carlos Castanheira.

Collator:Sophie Huang












採訪: 劉湘怡


整理: 黃姿蓉

Álvaro Siza + Carlos Castanheira
If detail didn’t exist, we wouldn’t exist.
Is in the detail that there is the Total and the essence.
If there wasn’t for the detail, the space wouldn’t exist as well as its control or creation.
The absence of detail is the rough, the amorphous, that is now called concept.
It is nothing but an overshadow and empty idea … without the definition that detail will provide it with.
The detail is the definition of the Total and it is in direct line.
The Total changes from the intention to the execution and to possible realization.
When there is no detail, others will do it for us and the Total stops being it.
It transforms itself into something different. It stops being ours and becomes theirs. Comes back to the amorphous.
Detail is hard-working. It becomes disturbing and the reason of many disagreements.
We are also the consequence of many and different details.
Within the Total we are unique, with our own personality and, above all, the character of the concept.
The absence of detail – or its execution – is to delegate in others the conclusion of the idea, of the concept.
As if the authorship could be the property of someone else that didn’t make part of the Total.
What would become of food without the salt … a simple detail, but …
What would become of Life without Art … a simple detail, but…
God is in details … someone said. Someone else also said that Detail is not God. But it is always omnipresent.