Hongkun Art Auditorium by Penda

Auditorium for an art museum inside a wooden box in Beijing.

The museum features a series of arches and counter arches, a motif that Penda wanted to continue in the new building. But the studio also wanted visitors to the auditorium feel as if they were inside an art work. Taking the surreal works of graphic artist MC Escher and painter Salvador Dalí as a starting point, they created a disorienting space where the curving openings are reflected in mirrored walls. "Inspired by artworks of Dali and Escher, the reflective landscape creates a skewed and distorted reality and connects visitor to art in a direct and interactive way," said the architects. "Rather than looking at an artwork, people can experience the artwork physically to widen their imagination."