The new permanent landmark will combine cultural enterprise and pioneering urban development to establish Hainan Province as a model for future coastal living

The masterplan, along 32km of coastline, aims to bring long-term and sustainable vitality to the city, enrich the local community, and attract millions of international visitors

Haikou Century Bridge
Haikou Century Bridge

Haikou, China, February 2021–– The Haikou Tourism and Culture Investment Holding Group has invited and commissioned leading architects and artists from around the world to create large scale permanent ‘Pavilions by the Seaside’ along the coastlines of Haikou Bay and Jiangdong New Area in the northern coastal city of Haikou on the island of Hainan. The masterplan will bring vitality and culture to the island’s north shore, while remaining sympathetic to its history and natural beauty, building a new harmony between nature, humanity and the built environment. The first pavilion will be completed as early as March 2021. All 16 pavilions are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Top Architects and Artists Are Invited to Create Landmark Pavilions

The city government of Haikou has appointed Weng Ling, founder of Arts China Union as lead curator. ‘Pavilions by the Seaside’ will feature large-scale, public-access pavilions designed by top architects and artists spanning a 19.6 km coastline in Haikou Bay and 12.5 km coastline in Jiangdong New Area.

02 MAD_云洞图书馆_by SAN

10_MAD_云洞图书馆_by SAN

MAD_云洞图书馆_建造中_by Agovision

MAD马岩松_云洞图书馆_by SAN 01

MAD马岩松_云洞图书馆 by SAN 03

Credit: Ma Yansong

Architectural participants include Bjarke Ingels (BIG), Kengo Kuma, Ong-ard Satrabhandhu, Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects), Sou Fujimoto, Stefano Boeri, Thomas Heatherwick, Winy MAAS (MVRDV), Liu Jiakun, Ma Yansong (MAD), and Zhu Xiaodi. And participating artists are Anish Kapoor, Sakamoto Ryūichi, Shen Wei, Kimsooja, Lin Tianmiao, Xue Song, Yang Fudong, Zhang Peili, and cutting-edge design team AHA, with support from emerging architects such as Jaeho Chong, Li Ruoxin, and Liu Shuo. These internationally recognized masters were encouraged to work across disciplines, joining forces to create distinct and functional cultural pavilions along the natural coastlines, covering a total area of more than 10,000 square meters of wetland area. Each pavilion will function as independent spaces, hosting cultural activities and attracting urban life.

Sou Fujimoto 藤本壮介_天空之山_东南半岛瞰图

Sou Fujimoto 藤本壮介_天空之山_驿站室内空间视图

Sou Fujimoto 藤本壮介_天空之山_驿站屋顶视图




Credit: Sou Fujimoto

“In this post-globalisation era, it is our responsibility to think about how to utilise limited resources in a more sustainable manner and reconsider our relationship with nature,” explains project curator Weng Ling. “Thanks to the support of the Haikou municipal government, we are establishing an international destination for sustainable creative development, through the eyes of a group of world-renowned masters, that will shape the future of Haikou city and Hainan Free Trade Port.

Hainan Free Trade Port: Pioneer of Change and Openness

In June 2020, China introduced a master plan for transforming Hainan Province, an island at the southernmost point of China best known for its tropical climate and abundant coastal resorts, into a free trade port by the middle of the century.

Haikou’s ‘Pavilions by the Seaside’ is envisioned as a new cultural destination, and a viable model for future cities globally, to serve local residents and attract international visitors. The development of these 16 pavilions will integrate diverse artistic content and programming and act as multifunctional spaces for public services to educate and support the local community.

“With a high sense of historic responsibility, each pavilion has been turned into a masterpiece along Haikou Bay, creating an iconic landmark for Haikou”, a spokesperson at the Haikou Tourism and Culture Investment Holding Group remarks. “With the strong support of the municipal party committee and government, ‘Pavilions by the Seaside’ will be a leading example as Hainan Province continues to innovate itself as China’s free trade zone.”



  • Location: Haikou, Hainan Province, China
  • 16 large-scale, public access ‘Pavilions by the Seaside’ 
  • 19 world-class architects, artists and multidisciplinary experts (see list below)
  • Distinct and functional cultural pavilions across 32km stretch of scenic coastline
  • Covering 10,000 square metres of coastal wetland area
  • Creating a new vision for future coastal living
  • Supporting Hainan’s free-trade zone initiative
  • First two pavilions by Ma Yansong and Sou Fujimoto to be completed late Spring 2021
  • All pavilions expected to be completed by end of 2021
  • Project Curator: Weng Ling, Founder of Arts Union China
  • Background Films: Below are two films about the project background (02:50) and interviews with the participating architects and artists (19:53)

PARTICIPATING ARCHITECTS: Bjarke Ingels (BIG), Kengo Kuma, Ong-ard Satrabhandhu, Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid Architects), Sou Fujimoto, Stefano Boeri, Thomas Heatherwick, Winy MAAS (MVRDV), Liu Jiakun, Ma Yansong (MAD), and Zhu Xiaodi.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Anish Kapoor, Sakamoto Ryūichi, Shen Wei, Kimsooja, Lin Tianmiao, Xue Song, Yang Fudong, Zhang Peili, plus cutting-edge design team AHA, with support from emerging architects such as Jaeho Chong, Li Ruoxin, and Liu Shuo.


One of the earliest and most pivotal promoters of Chinese contemporary art, Weng Ling has devoted herself to integrating contemporary art into the context of urban and social development for decades. From early groundbreaking curation of prominent artists, to more recent operations overseeing the master-planning and development of China’s most important landmark projects, Weng Ling has been pushing the boundaries of various industries, promoting cross-disciplinary collaboration in the fields of art, design, science, environmental and cultural conservation, among others. Pioneering in art-oriented urban changes—Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu, and Hainan, Weng Ling has been leading a new synergy to transform the cultural and social landscape in these mega cities


Founded by Ms. Weng Ling, Arts China Union is a platform for intellectual and practical exchange between interdisciplinary experts, creative pioneers and influential thinkers around the world. Its mission is to promote the positive power of art and culture in the context of sustainable urban development.

Arts China Union has successfully implemented many progressive urban transformation concepts, by promoting dialogue and cooperation among experts across multiple disciplines – art and culture, design and society, urbanism and architecture, science and technology as well as sustainable development – integrating innovative ideas to the practice of urban regeneration, the construction and operation of cultural spaces, planning and management of art institutions, and the international exchange of art and culture.

Further to the launch of the Pavilions by the Seaside Haikou, the project will continue to invite experts and creators across different disciplines at home and abroad to participate in the project, creating a platform for creative ideas and knowledge. “In the post-COVID era, it is more important than ever to re-examine our relationship with nature, the symbiosis between urban development and heritage, the interaction of art and technology, and ultimately, how humanity can move towards a better future,”- Weng Ling.


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