Construction of the Guardian Art Center, what will be the shiny new headquarters of China’s oldest art auction house, is underway. The center has been designed by international architecture firm Büro Ole Scheeren, and will serve as a museum, event space, and cultural lifestyle center, aiming to merge in with its surroundings and Beijing life.

The architects are working with Chinese partners at BIAD in order to ensure that the project integrates with Chinese identity and architecture, Büro Ole Scheeren announced. This way they will hopefully avoid criticism of destroying China's culture and heritage, which Zaha Hadid Architects have been subject of.

The center aims to build on the grain, color, and intricate scale of the city’s hutongs, Designboom said. The ‘floating ring’ type structure forms a courtyard, replicating the style of courtyard houses throughout the city, and relating strongly to the nearby Forbidden City.

From the inside, the museums’ sections will merge, with exhibition rooms, auction rooms, several restaurants, and a 120-room hotel with at its center a 1,700 square meter column-free exhibition and event space to be utilized by the entire city.

The project is expected to be completed in 2016, according to the website. We’ll believe it when we see it, but we look forward to seeing this modern beauty on Beijing’s skyline. We're not sure if it competes with the new funky spacecraft-like airport though.

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Photo: Büro Ole Scheeren

Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog