Part 1 – Matt Grimshaw

Kunming Museum of Chinese Gaming Culture

Site: The site lies in the heart of Kunming. Any small changes could potentially have a larger impact on other areas of the city. The two gates at the north end hold large meaning for the locals and continue to be a landmark in the expanding city.


The sunken square just south of the gates is very unusual. It is hidden amongst the foot traffic of the city and remains largely unused and unnoticed. The enclosed chaotic series of buildings around the square protect the area, as the site remains low lying in the surrounding high-rise buildings. There is currently a complex network of routes and paths above and below ground, so in order to not disrupt this I felt the new project had to work with the context rather than against it.

One predominant feature of the site is the clashing activities that range from gaming to Tai Chi. A vast underground network spans the length of the site, where these various activities take place. The most notable and unexpected activity was the hidden Internet cafe. Here teenagers play computer games for countless hours in a very run down environment. The hidden nature of the Internet cafe was something that became fascinating. Entrances appeared run down and inaccessible, but upon entering, the whole network opened up.

Project Brief: The gaming culture in China is rapidly growing and is set to continue with the advance in technology The situation in the present day is breaking up family relationships as children seek gaming hours. Education on the subject is needed through all generations in order for the problem to be understood and be solved. China are worryingly building ‘military style’ addiction camps, housing children for months to try and overcome the problem.

My aim was to create a museum, where the spatial experience can tell the story. Artists, gamers and specialists can express their feelings of gaming and addiction through installations and exhibitions, allowing elder generations to gain a better understanding.

Matt Grimshaw

The Project: I maintained a very contextually sensitive approach when designing the museum in the ever expanding centre of Kunming. The focus of the project was to create volumes of space, unlike anything else in the city, whilst maintaining a contextual approach.

The museum focuses on Chinese gaming and so the design ultimately mimics the museum content. Gaming addiction in China is known, but the potential growth of the problem is deeply hidden.



Bond Bryan Architects

West Yorkshire Society of Architects

Part of Lighting Exchanges from Deltalight

Leave a Reply