Arquitectura Viva
Saturday, December 05, 2020

Snøhetta, Grand Theater in Xingtai (China)

The Norwegian firm Snøhetta has won the design competition for a theater in Xingtai, one of China’s oldest cities, in Hebei Province. The Xingtai Grand Theater is part of a whole development that includes a park, a circular event plaza, and the Xingtai Science and Technology Museum, a project to be carried out following a design by the Austrian studio Coop Himmelb(l)au.

These different programs are interconnected within a larger scheme conceived too by Snøhetta, the Grand Circle Promenade, which draws from the Tian Yuan Di Fang, a basic concept in ancient Chinse thought where the sky is round, represented by moving elements like the moon and stars, and the earth is square, standing for stable, steadfast ground. Also evoking the city’s early advancement in the technology of constructing wells, the design features a pool at the center, embraced by a walkway that then spirals up the theater building, reaching a height of 22.5 meters, all the way up to the roof plaza, where one is treated to a view of the new cultural area. The facade combines ceramic pieces – a tribute to Xingtai’s porcelain-making history – with structural slanting columns.
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