Situated between the Cang mountain chain which reaches 4,000 meters in height, and the 40 kilometers long Lake Erhai, the city of Dali, a significant stop of the ancient tea and horse road, is an important tourism destination.
Tempered weather by the low latitude and high elevation create a unique life style of local people life. Outdoors life becomes a particular life style for local people.
The old town has largely preserved and still has some remains of the historic city wall with gate towers. Inspired by the powerful surrounding landscape, Zhu Pei searched for landscape related references to solve the architectonic challenges for the Performing Arts Center.
Inspired by local nature and climate, the performance center uses a composition of big canopy roof and flowing topography to invite users into an open plaza. The open plaza is met with a theater box that, when active, transforms the open plaza into an interior-exterior performance space.
This performance space uses the blurred boundary between landscape and stage to also explore and erase the boundaries between performer and spectator. A few tree house towers will bring people up to top of the roof and down to the underneath the hills.
A widely cantilevered rectangular roof spans across a built landscape of free-flowing indoor and outdoor spaces, some of which can be combined as an interacting spatial system. As with mountains and valleys, the strong shape of the roof reflects the more organic landscape below and points to the old Chinese principle of yin and yang, where two opposites form a whole together.
Yang and an indoor theater — Yin, where become a central stage once the huge sliding door is opened. People are following throughout the building from in and out, top and bottom. Overall experience of building strongly reflects local people’s life style and Chinese “wander” theory.
Formally expressed as organic-shaped hills, the partly sunken spaces become like a natural garden landscape, promising a high experiential quality, which continues into the public theatre inside. Source by Studio Zhu-Pei.
- Location: Dali, Yunnan, China
- Architect: Studio Zhu-Pei
- Design Principal: Zhu Pei
- Lead Designer: Edwin Lam, Shuhei Nakamura
- Project in Charge: Virginia Melnyk
- Design Team: You Changchen, Han Mo, He Fan, Liu Ling, Wu Zhigang, Gary Poon, Ke Jun, Wang Peng, Wang Zheng, Ding Xinyue, Feng Chaoying, Chen Yida, Han Yi, Lin Wendi, Du Yao
- Theater: dUCKS scéno, Creative Solution Integration LTD.
- Structure: Professor Fu Xueyi, Master of National Engineering Survey and Design
- MEP: CCDI
- Facade: Shenzhen Dadi Facade Technology CO., LTD.
- Lighting: Ning Field Lighting Design CO., LTD.
- Acoustic: China IPPR International Engineering CO., LTD.
- Construction: The Third Construction CO., LTD. of YCIH
- Client: Dali Yang Liping Grand Theatre Co., LTD
- Area: 8,155sqm
- Completion Year: 2020
- Photographs: Jin Weiqi, Zhang Yao, Coutesy of Studio Zhu-Pei