Water inspired design

A collaboration of consultants from Europe, the US and Asia, including Arup, worked with Open Architecture studio on the winning design of what will be the Yichang Grand Theatre in China.

The Beijing -based studio has revealed the visuals for the theatre that will be located on the Pinghu Peninsula in Hubei Province where the Yangtze River meets the Huangbai River tributary.

Designed to evoke the movement of flowing water, the 70,000 m² theatre design comprises a 1600-seat theatre, 1200-seat concert hall, a 400-seat black box and two outdoor theatres. It will also house event and exhibition spaces, rehearsal rooms, educational facilities, cafes, restaurants and observation decks.

One of the outdoor theatres is on the rooftop along with the observation deck, connected by an ascending public walkway allowing for multiple viewing points. The building on the water’s edge faces inland and incorporates voids on the façade to naturally ventilate the foyer.

Open Architecture reduced the structure’s footprint and excavation work by elevating its main functional spaces, allowing natural vegetation to grow on the land below the building. Included are a large semi-outdoor garden and cascading terraced gardens to help regulate the development’s microclimate.

Open Architecture principals: Li Hu and Huang Wenjing
Sustainability and Climate Engineering Consultant: Arup
Structural Engineer: Guy Nordenson and Associates

View more images and design details here.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries.