Wuxi Taihu Show Bamboo Theatre in China by Steven Chilton Architects | Yellowtrace

Wuxi Taihu Show Bamboo Theatre in China by Steven Chilton Architects | Yellowtrace

Wuxi Taihu Show Bamboo Theatre in China by Steven Chilton Architects | Yellowtrace

Wuxi Taihu Show Bamboo Theatre in China by Steven Chilton Architects | Yellowtrace

 

Located close to Lake Taihu in Jiangsu Province, China, the Wuxi Show Theatre concept was inspired by the Sea of Bamboo Park in Yixing, the largest bamboo forest in China. Due to open in 2019, the 2,000 seat theatre has been designed by London-based Steven Chilton Architects to house a permanent water show by famed Belgian theatre director Franco Dragone.

The building’s appearance is composed of three primary elements – the columns, the shade canopy and the building envelope.

Representing an abstract impression of a bamboo forest, the slender white columns are positioned around the perimeter of the building to provide a screen between the façade and the surrounding landscape. The ‘bamboo’ columns clear around the various entrances to help frame the access points into the building.

The shade canopy wraps around the building perimeter at roof level. Conceptually, it represents the canopy of leaves that exist at the top of a bamboo forest. The canopy is made up of various triangular bays containing rows of gold anodised aluminium louvres. Each bay is orientated randomly to create an organic quality to the structure and light, and shade patterns that fall across the envelope through the day. Each bay of louvres is also set at different angles to heighten the sense of variation when viewed from different angles.

 

Wuxi Taihu Show Bamboo Theatre in China by Steven Chilton Architects | Yellowtrace

Wuxi Taihu Show Bamboo Theatre in China by Steven Chilton Architects | Yellowtrace

 

Each bay of louvres is supported on a triangular lattice structure that braces the tops of the columns and transfers their load into the primary construction of the building. The environmental purpose of the shade canopy and columns provides shade over the surface of the façade to passively lower the cooling load.

The building envelope is primarily composed of rendered and painted block-work and curtain wall glazing. The glazing is fretted with white and gold stripes that travel the full height of the building mimicking the ‘bamboo’ columns, contributing to the effect of the structure appearing as the outer edge of a forest of bamboo.

At night, the theatre envelop is illuminated from below, becoming an ethereal beacon, glimpsed between the forest of ‘bamboo’ columns, drawing spectators and audience in from across the lake and surrounding development.

 

Related: Awe-Inspiring Harbin Opera House in China by MAD Architects.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Steven Chilton Architects.]

 

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