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Construction milestone reached on ZHA-designed floating arts centre

Tim Gibson

1 February 2021

 

CONSTRUCTION is progressing at the Zhuhai Jinwan Civic Art Centre, a new cultural hub designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA).

Appearing to float in the middle of a lake, the striking building houses a collection of four new distinct cultural institutions for the city of Jinwan, China: a 1,200-seat Grand Theatre; a 500-seat Multifunctional Hall, a Science Centre; and an Art Museum.

All four venues are connected by a central plaza that also serves as an external foyer.

Spanning out from this plaza is a latticed steel canopy, made to represent migratory birds flying in formation over southern China.

The canopy has now been installed over two of the centre’s four cultural venues and the final form of the building is beginning to shape.

Above and Below: The complex steel canopy has been constructed above two of the centre's venues. Images courtesy of ZHA.


It's this distinctive roof structure that unites the disparate elements of the development, providing natural light in all public areas while enhancing connectivity among visitors.

Ramps will create visitor access to a dramatic rooftop piazza, while a series footbridges and stairs will connect them at different levels to each of the four venues.

A void in the canopy will also create space for an external amphitheatre where outdoor performances and activities can take place.

Above: The arts centre appears to float on a manmade lake. Below: The steel canopies connect the four venues.  Images courtesy of ZHA.

The surrounding lake isn’t just for decoration. The centre’s landscaping and water features are designed as integral elements within Zhuhai’s ‘sponge city’ initiative that targets the natural permeation, storage and re-use of at least 70 percent of the city’s rainwater.

Special humidity and soil-moisture sensors will also control water consumption, while indoor air quality monitoring systems will automatically adjust the centre’s interior climate.

The entire development has been designed to achieve two stars from China’s Green Building Evaluation Standard.

ZHA has been under the leadership of Patrik Schumacher since Zaha Hadid’s death in 2016, the studio has announced a number of high-profile projects of late including twin 400-metre high skyscrapers for the city of Shenzhen.

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