PES-Architects wins design competition for Nanchang Poly Grand Theatre

Nanchang Poly Grand Theatre

PES-Architects has won the invited international architecture competition for the Poly Grand Theatre in Nanchang, capital of Jiangxi province, China. Situated south of the city by Jiulong Lake, the theatre and art centre is set to become the cultural hub and landmark of the new urban development zone. The building is expected to be completed in 2024.

”The main idea of the design is a versatile and communal cultural campus, a building that blends into and opens towards both the commercial urban district and the lakeside landscape,” explains chief designer Tuomas Silvennoinen, partner at PES-Architects. The main functions of the 35,000 m2 building – grand theatre/opera hall, multifunctional theatre, and educational and exhibition facilities – are broken down into three separate volumes, circling each other like fish in a pond.

Following the typology of a traditional Chinese village, this creates a variety of indoor and outdoor streets and plazas that allow the free flow of people in and around the building. ”The corridors traversing the building are envisioned as a vibrant public space, attracting a wide range of visitors to enjoy the ambience of the cultural complex as well as its events and services.”

“The central passage provides direct access to all the main functions, with cafés and pop-up performances and exhibitions creating a lively urban setting throughout the day.” A further 10,000 m2 of underground spaces will house technical and service facilities as well as parking. The wood-veneered facades of the building are partially clad with a ceramic and glass tile matrix as a tribute to the ceramics tradition of the Jiangxi province.

The curtain wall forms a light and elegant pixelated surface, which also provides protection from the sun. ”We expect construction to begin in 2022 following the final design phase. The competition win is also a testimony to the smooth remote collaboration between our Helsinki and Shanghai offices despite the current travel restrictions,” Silvennoinen says.

The competition was organised as an invited tendering procedure by Poly Culture Group Co., Ltd, China’s leading theatre management company, which PES-Architects has previously collaborated with on the Wuxi Grand Theatre. A total of five Chinese and European practices were invited to participate. Source by PES-Architects.

  • Location: Jiulong Lake New City, Nanchang, Jiangxi province, China
  • Architect: PES-Architects
  • Design team: Tuomas Silvennoinen (chief architect), Jyri Eskola, Lai Linli, Willem Barendregt, Guan Xiaojing, Dou Jian, Lin Jianqiang, Li Yueyang, Zhou Hanxiao, Xu Ziyang, Juho Jääskeläinen
  • Competition organiser and client: Nanchang Poly Group Corporation Limited
  • Site area: 81,146 m2
  • Floor area: 34,990 m2 + 10,000 m2 underground
  • Functions: Theatre and art centre (grand theatre/opera hall (1,612 seats); multifunctional theatre (450 seats); exhibition, rehearsal and educational premises)
  • Year: 2021
  • Images: Courtesy of PES-Architects

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