Arte Charpentier Architectes completes gleaming white sculptural theatre in Taiyuan
‘Iconic’ is a word often overused by architects and yet for Arte Charpentier Architectes’ latest completed project to term seems entirely fitting. Shanxi Grand Theater is a sculptural offering in the swiftly developing area of Taiyuan, located in a recently-established region of Changfeng and brings a bold new flavour to the fore.
The arresting form stands proudly on the edge of a river under the shadow of the Lüliang and Taihang Mountains, a symbol of the region’s burgeoning prosperity. A 1,600-capacity performance space is placed at the north end of the volume, supported by 1,000- and 600-seater halls at the opposite end. These scarlet performance spaces are encased in a metal shell which captures the bright sunshine of Taiyuan and reflects its back, changing shade throughout the day.
Arte Charpentier Architectes explains: “For the halls and the interior core of the building, the work [of the architects] covered the rationality and purity of the volumes. The metal skin of the building has been designed to play with light while reflecting the lights of the sky in a sensitive and varied way. The building is thus designed like an urban sculpture, ordering and qualifying all the surrounding space.”