Located in the Culture Park of Tianjin, this incredible state of the art cultural building is a representative and inspirational design for the Chinese traditions and believes.
The building became an icon for the city of Tianjin and an important arts center, placed in the serene environment of the park, away from the noise of the city. The circular form of the roof relates to the Museum of National History; put together, the create a relationship between the terrestrial and the celestial planes represented by the seemingly floating roof of the theater. Both earth and sky and the connection between them occupy a very special place in the traditional Chinese thinking.
The state of the art cultural building was inspired by the nearby water-side, taking a shell-like form which guards and protects three „pearls”: the opera hall, concert hall and a small multi functional room. The facade facing the lake was decorated with a bold cantilever that provides shade and shelter for the visitors; the monumental stairs offering access to the lakes level help achieve an open space in front of the theater that allows a better circulation and guarantees the flow of the crowds coming in or exiting the building. A second function of the stairs is to create an urban stage for the urban life, a meeting place with a wonderful view.
More details from the architects:
„Vehicular traffic is avoided on the water side. Drop-offs are located to the north and south whilst bus stops are situated along a dwelling mound to the east of the building. All internal areas are located within the base so that an unobstructed internal circulation is achieved.
The roof construction is a transformation of the traditional Chinese element of multiple eaves and thus defines a system of common horizontal layers, which creates an architectural entity of roof, facade and stone base.”
Despite its innovative shape I believe that it doesn’t really stand out because almost every element has already been used or and can be found in another building. The water-side and the concert-hall design are features that have become typologies and although are intriguing and need careful thinking to be layed out do not bring anything new the architectural comunity. The only feature that stands out is its size.
Architects: gmp Architekten
Location: Tianjin, China
Project Leaders: David Schenke, Xu Shan
Design Team: Tobias Keyl, Matthias Grünewald, Martin Gänsicke, Susan Schwarz, Verena Fischbach, Bin Zhou, Jan Demel, Thilo Zehme, Duc Nguyen, Di Wu, Fang Xie
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Christian Gahl
Project Area: 85,000 sqm
Structural Engineers: Schlaich Bergermann and Partner
Light Planning: Conceptlicht
Stage Technology: Kunkel Consulting
Chinese partner practice: ECADI
Client: Tianjin culture center project and construction head office
Gross floor area: 85,000 m2
Opera hall: 1600 seats
Concert hall: 1200 seats
Small multi functional hall: 400 seats construction period 2010–20