New international museum joins Shanghai’s iconic skyline

Located in the heart of Shanghai, along the city’s iconic Huangpu river and Oriental Pearl Tower, the Pudong Art Museum opened its doors on 8 July 2021. It covers a total area of around 40,000 m2 and will be a new home to exciting exhibitions with the highest international museum standards.

The building was designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel (AJN), an outstanding French architect with a very strong approach on cultural and museum buildings. Drees & Sommer provided MEP consulting with the support of international teams based in Shanghai, and Paris. A key focus of the engineering team was to develop sophisticated room climate concepts, meeting the very strict temperature and humidity requirements in the exhibition spaces. This was challenging to achieve in the sub-tropical climate in line with the goal to minimize the energy demand.

The special challenge was in the space behind the “Grande Verre” an impressive glass facade which faces the old part of Shanghai and provides art enthusiasts a view from outside into the building where digital art can be displayed on a large LED screen. Simulation studies were used to analyze the solar load and internal heat gains from the screen to assess different ways to control the room temperature. With a displacement ventilation approach and a heat-sink integrated in the floor, the required air volumes to condition the space was reduced by nearly 60% resulting in significantly lower energy intensity and technical equipment size, giving back more utility area to the museum.

Visitors at the museum can enjoy unobstructed views of the city and the beautiful sunset over the Huangpu river, thanks to the roof space. Generally, such spaces are equipped with large technical plant equipment but they were cleared by integrating the equipment in an efficient manner into a small technical tower in the building.