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This museum of vintage BMWs by architecture practice Crossboundaries is draped in layers of red fabric that reference traditional Chinese archways. The building, which opened this month in Beijing, features a collection of historic models displayed in glossy white surroundings. Walls have been decorated with horizontal light strips to reference the motion of a car speeding, while ceilings are hung with semi-transparent panels of material to make the space more “cosy”. These banners can be lowered to double as projection screens. Pieces of red fabric have also been suspended from the ceiling and arranged to look like typical Chinese architectural gates. These welcome visitors into the main exhibition space.

“While the fabric’s verticality reduces the high ceiling to a more human scale, the vast amount of white textile surfaces indicates generosity, and the Chinese red gate as backdrop transmits an imperial feeling,” said Crossboundaries. The practice has offices in Beijing and Frankfurt, and also recently converted a derelict building into a kindergarten and play centre filled with brightly coloured environments. BMW’s collection of historic cars is displayed on the third floor of the building, which also features screens integrated into walls. The fourth floor of the museum is accessed via a freestanding staircase, and features vehicles shown on long plinths. Each of the display platforms is edged by stainless steel strips, echoing the linear lighting on the walls.

A reflective stainless steel ceiling also adds to the sense of perspective, mirroring the cars on display. The platforms are arranged in a parallel configurations, while lighting strips lead visitors through the exhibition. In addition to its collection of vehicles, the museum includes a movie theatre, game room and an additional exhibition area for smaller items – also shown on glossy white display plinths.

Photography is by Yang Chao Ying

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