Heatherwick's performing arts center takes the form of colorful volcanoes
High-profile British firm Heatherwick Studio has been commissioned to design a remarkable new performing arts center in China. The eye-catching building will rise out of the tropical wetlands landscape like a colorful cluster of volcanoes and will host an opera house, a concert hall and a theater.
The Hainan Performing Arts Centre will be Heatherwick Studio's first music venue and, as its name suggests, will be located on the island of Hainan, which is at China's most southern point. The building will be defined by its volcano-like canopy exterior and will have capacity of up to 3,800 people. It will be used to stage productions ranging from large-scale operas, ballets and musicals, to avant-garde dramas, fashion shows and multimedia performances.
"Our inspiration came from the volcanic landscape and the costumes, colors and movement of Hainanese Opera," explained Eliot Postma, Partner and Group Leader at Heatherwick Studio. "Many opera houses are cut off from their surroundings and only come to life when a performance is on. We wanted to create a space that is an extension of the city and will contribute to life on the street throughout the day.
"So the canopy shelters a mix of different spaces that form an open-air village, of which the halls are a part. It blends the formality of performance with the informality of island culture, making opera more accessible and offering everyone a space to meet whether you have a ticket or not."
Further details are still relatively light at this early stage, but Heatherwick Studio did note that the design will respond to the local climate, reducing energy consumption and running costs.
The project was commissioned following an international architecture competition and construction is scheduled to begin in late 2022. It joins several other notable recent architectural works in the area, including MAD's cloud-shaped museum and spaceship-style library.
Source: Heatherwick Studio