A new cultural centre blurs the boundaries between the inside and outside
This pioneering youth and cultural center designed by OPEN Architecture is located in Beidaihe, a seaside town with exceptional historical and cultural significance. The whole building is situated so that it is surrounded by nature, protected from the noises and chaos of the city.
The project brief outlined a space which had various functional requirements which included: a theater, gallery spaces, activity areas, DIY space, café, a book bar. With the aim of maximising both the preservation of nature on site and the diversity of spatial qualities, OPEN has designed a building which is completely fused with nature.
Free flowing indoor spaces fully connect to the outdoor landscape with the roof is covered in greenery. The flexible spaces enable a variety of suitable indoor and outdoor activities so 100% of the land is effectively used.
The central courtyard is not only part of the landscape but it is also an extension to the theatre for hosting a much larger crowd watching performances. The blurred relationship of the internal and external spaces means that the building is subject to the seasonal change which alternates the users experience throughout the year.
Although the theatre is relatively small, it is designed and equipped to be able to host high quality professional performances. The folding doors behind the stage can be opened fully so the courtyard suddenly becomes a part of the theatre. This openness creates a delightful surprise that transforms the small theatre into a large performing arena.
The performers are able to act and dance inside and outside, taking in the natural elements outside as part of the performance. The spectators will enjoy a totally different kind of theater experience both novel and unexpected. On other occasions the risen courtyard along the slope can be an ideal auditorium for both performances and open-air cinema.