Beijing – In 2019, a labyrinth-like structure emerged in Beijing, a sculptural building with a length of 50+ m, height of five m and width of less than nine m. A travelling multimedia exhibition space, the Mandalas Pop-up Digital Art Museum was intentionally built to surprise – past its illusive windowless façade and double-nested entrance space, visitors are taken through immersive areas highlighting Himalayan art and culture. One Take Architects conceived the museum to ‘create new relationships between people and space’, says a spokesperson.
The museum is true to its name: six golden corner ‘blocks’ that comprise the Mandalas pop-up are able to be split and reorganized into a dkyil-‘khor, meaning an ‘inner palace’ or ‘Buddha realm’ in Chinese Buddhism [‘mandala’ in English]. Its exterior functions as a sort of public urban space, with staggered steps implemented for people to relax or climb on. In all respects the architects aimed to create a visual contrast with the city environment – the pop-up’s graphic façade takes inspiration from the skylines of Namcha Barwa, a mountain in the Tibetan Himalaya.