Architecture

Stunning Chinese theater wrapped in tattoo-inspired facade

Stunning Chinese theater wrapp...
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre opens to the public some time in 2021
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre opens to the public some time in 2021
View 6 Images
"The various entrances into the building are created by 'tucking' the surface in on itself where the valley of each fold would meet the ground plane," explains Steven Chilton Architects. "Each entrance is protected by a natural canopy created by the overhanging surface before it ‘tucks’ in to define the opening"
1/6
"The various entrances into the building are created by 'tucking' the surface in on itself where the valley of each fold would meet the ground plane," explains Steven Chilton Architects. "Each entrance is protected by a natural canopy created by the overhanging surface before it ‘tucks’ in to define the opening"
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre's bright red cladding is partly inspired by the local area's historic links to the Silk Road
2/6
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre's bright red cladding is partly inspired by the local area's historic links to the Silk Road
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre's facade comprises thousands of perforated aluminum panels
3/6
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre's facade comprises thousands of perforated aluminum panels
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre opens to the public some time in 2021
4/6
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre opens to the public some time in 2021
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre's interior includes 360-degree LED screens mounted to provide visitors with an immersive experiance
5/6
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre's interior includes 360-degree LED screens mounted to provide visitors with an immersive experiance
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre has a 2,000 seat capacity
6/6
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre has a 2,000 seat capacity
View gallery - 6 images

Steven Chilton Architects recently completed a new theater in Guangzhou, China, that draws inspiration from tattoo art. This is not represented in the mundane "Steve loves Lucy forever" type of ink, but instead a stunning bright red facade that depicts a phoenix, cranes, cockerels and other birds.

Named the Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre, the project also draws inspiration from silk by way of the area's historic connection to the Silk Road. Structurally, the facade comprises thousands of perforated aluminum panels which are supported by a series of steel tubes connected to a concrete superstructure supporting the theater floors. The facade detailing, meanwhile, was influenced by the local myth "100 Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix."

"Using illustrations created by artist Zhang Hongfei, SCA digitized and interpreted his hand drawings before mapping each figure onto the surface geometry." explains the press release. "We developed a compositional style inspired by tattoo art aesthetics. Each figure was positioned on the 'body' of the theatre over a series of studies in response to the topology of the surface geometry. Whilst significant figures like the Phoenix were positioned where the form afforded prominence, lesser figures such as birds, were organically and less consciously arranged in the spaces between."

The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre has a 2,000 seat capacity
The Sunac Guangzhou Grand Theatre has a 2,000 seat capacity

The interior design was led by Dragone, with theater consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, and has a capacity of 2,000 people. While it can be used for typical productions, it's also a good fit for more elaborate shows with water effects.

At its center is a deep pool with an automated stage lift and three underwater scenery storage areas used to store large props and scenic elements. Additionally, 360-degree overhead LED screens are installed on the ceiling to help offer an immersive experience for the audience.

The theater is scheduled to open to the public in 2021.

Source: Steven Chilton Architects

View gallery - 6 images
3 comments
3 comments
buzzclick
This is remarkable architecture. The organic undulating forms comfortably fit on site and bridge modern and historical traditions. The interior of the theater looks ready to immerse an audience to amazing presentations.

The reference to tattoos seems inappropriate. If the background color of the structure was a skin color maybe, but the beautiful red color of the finish is anything but.
ClaudioB
The reference to tattoos IS inappropriate and somewhat misleading.
Joyous and festive things are red here in China and all the decorations scream of "classic Chinese"... what on earth does tattoo have to do with it?
ReservoirPup
My impression is that China is investing in this sort of venues not only to keep the subjects entertained inside, but also as a catalyst of domestic tourism. Lots of handmade landmarks are a good investment if those many birds and other creatures that lost habitat or just were killed are taken into consideration.