Dalian Shell Museum / The Design Institute of Civil Engineering & Architecture of DUT

Architects: The Design Institute of Civil Engineering & Architecture of
Location: Dalian, China
Project Area: 18,000 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Courtesy of Dalian Shell Museum

One of Dalian’s key high-end construction projects is the new Shell Museum. With more than 5,000 kinds of precious shells from all over the world on display inside, the building’s exterior has created quite a stir.

With four floors above ground and one floor underground, the building contains about 18,000 sqm of space. The structure is fittingly aligned with the theme of shells and mixes a multitude of versatile organic forms in its design.

The main exhibition building features an overlapping roof made of QuadroClad™ which evokes an oversized seashell. The material projects the natural flowing curves the architect envisioned and also demonstrates the customizable nature of Hunter Douglas’ curved products.

elevation 02

The concept plays with the building’s advantageous geographical site to establish the main exhibition space stretching out in an uphill direction. This arrangement allows views of the beautiful landscape from the wide picture windows inside the museum’s lounge.

From inside, the glazed wall looks transparent; from outside, it reflects the environment so effectively that the building seamlessly glides into blue sky and green sea, appearing as a series of “shells”.

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Cite: "Dalian Shell Museum / The Design Institute of Civil Engineering & Architecture of DUT" 06 Apr 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=55139>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    nice drawings, too bad the building doesnt look like the drawings. the building looks awful

    • Thumb up Thumb down -2

      I agree, the beauty of the line drawings is lost in the execution. That grid needs to be expressed more on the facade, it’s quite nice.

      Is the Starcraft inspired by any chance?

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    What interests me about this museum it is an Archetypes of ‘portable architecture’. Seashells have held a prominent place in our culture. Many great architects were inspired by the beauty, diversity and design of the shell, that they incorporated them into their masterpieces.

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