CLIENT: Mawei New Town construction Development Co. Ltd.
LOCATION: Fuzhou, China
In 2014, the Fuzhou Government hosted an international invited competition for the Strait Culture and Art Centre with the goal of strengthening the cultural image of the city. PES-Architects’ winning proposal aimed to offer an extraordinary experience for ordinary users by creating a new type of “cultural shopping mall”.
The design takes inspiration from the petals of a jasmine blossom, the city flower of Fuzhou. The flower is manifested in the formal language and colour of the architecture. Ceramic is used as the project’s main material due to its significance in the historical context of the maritime silk road trade connection between China and the rest of the world. All façades are clad with white ceramic tiles and louvres, while both the opera hall and concert hall showcase this cultural material in an innovative way in the acoustic wall surfaces.
PES-Architects worked with Taiwanese ceramic artist Samuel Hsuan-yu Shih to design the artistic ceramic interiors according to acoustical demands, using the legendary China White material and technology. Based on extensive studies carried out with the acousticians, two types of acoustic panels were developed: an engraved panel for the concert hall and a mosaic tile panel for the opera hall. Both panels are adaptable to the topographical surfaces that are required to achieve high quality acoustics as well as the desired appearance.
Another traditionally Chinese material, bamboo, is also used in different forms in the interiors. In the opera hall, the ceramics interior is complemented by bamboo detailing: the railings and selected parts of the walls are clad with CNC-cut solid bamboo. Bamboo is also used as flooring and on other surfaces and in furnishing, such as the auditorium seats, throughout the complex. The multipurpose hall is clad with solid CNC-cut bamboo blocks shaped according to acoustic needs.
The main entrance Concourse Lobby is an open space that can be used for cultural activities. The “Mushroom Columns” host elevators and ventilation equipment. “Sky Blossoms” in the lobby ceiling introduce daylight and create a connection between the ground level and the roof terrace above.