Sprawling cultural center unified under "bamboo leaf" roof
Following its mountain-inspired Chaoyang Park Plaza and cloud-shaped Aranya Cloud Center, MAD Architects once again draws on the natural world for inspiration for its newest project. The sprawling arts and culture center will be defined by an unusual white roof meant to resemble scattered bamboo leaves.
The Anji Culture and Art Center will be located in Zhejiang province, China, and, as well as bamboo leaves, is meant to echo the tea plantations which will surround it. Its design will also focus on maximizing natural light inside with generous glazing, including what MAD says will be country's highest self-supporting glass wall.
"The volume of the building is evenly distributed beneath the white tiled roof, whose undulating silhouette echoes the shape of the surrounding hill planted with Anji white tea," explained MAD. "Multiple courtyards across the site function as programmatic gaps that dissolve the boundaries between indoor and outdoor space. On the west side of the project, a large stage can be used as an outdoor venue for performances, concerts and exhibitions.
"The high point of Anji Culture and Art Center is a series of overlapping metal roofs resembling scattered bamboo leaves with ridges that add visual complexity to the breathtaking landscape. The gaps between them allow natural light to enter the interior, while the main facade is highly transparent to additionally invite natural light through its side elevations. The main facade is up to 17 meters [55 ft], which will be the highest self-supporting glass wall in China when it is completed."
The Anji Culture and Art Center will measure 120,000 sq m (roughly 215,000 sq ft), which will be spread over a grand theater, conference center, leisure center, sports center, youth activity center, and an art education center. Its interior design is reminiscent of other recent large-scale MAD projects and will boast impressive wood detailing, including on its ceiling and walls.
In addition to its focus on natural light and ventilation, the project will improve its energy efficiency with green roof sections designed to increase insulation, plus a rainwater capture system will be installed to reduce grid-based water use.
The Anji Culture and Art Center is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2025.