Located in Mawei New Town, facing the Minjiang River, the Strait Culture and Arts Centre is about connections. It connects cities and communities along and over the Taiwan Strait. It connects the Fuzhou Mawei New City Development and its waterways to the Minjiang River and the natural environment. And, finally, it connects people to culture.
The building shapes remind of ships in a harbor, referring to the ancient maritime silk-road history of Fuzhou.
The property is split in two parts by the LiangCuo flood river, and the building isforming a “public bridge” over the dividing element. “Riverside Petal”decks, including a cafe and an amphitheater, close to the water, provide possibilities for performances or group activities.
The Fuzhou Strait Culture and Arts Centre (SCAC) aims to offer an extraordinary experience for ordinary users by creating a new type of Cultural Shopping Mall. The cultural programme of the centre is complemented with commercial and family-oriented entertainment services to create a modern hybrid complex. This format is typical of the new phase of cultural building in China.
Looking closer, the design is inspiration from the petals of a jasmine blossom, the city flower of Fuzhou. The flower is manifested in the formal language and color of the architecture. The five jasmine petal venues are the Multifunctional Theatre, the Opera Hall, the Concert Hall, the Art Exhibition Hall, and the Cinema Centre.
The central connecting Concourse Lobby is open all day. This concept was supposed to provide for a flexible usability of the public spaces, to create a vessel for a playful connection of the arts to the people, and promoting the growth of local creativity and art production.
Ceramics was selected as a suitable, truly Chinese material for the project. The ceramic material is used in different innovative ways in several key areas throughout the building.
Ceramic material is used in different innovative ways in several key areas throughout the building design, strongly linked to the overall concept of the project, based on the location by the Taiwan Strait and, historically, in the context of the Maritime Silk Road trade connection between China and the rest of the world.
The ceramic screens of the main façade are made of 42,250 ceramic louvres, covered with white glazing and featuring a lens shaped section, related to the form language used in the building, but also to maximize the shading capacity of the façade. Complex scripting tools were applied to determine the optimal angle and distance between the louvres. The roof is clad with pre-patinated zinc.
The overall geometrical pattern was created using a second custom-developed script, coping with the double-curvature façade surface. While the distance of the straight main steel columns increases towards the top, diagonal (double-curved) secondary pipes are arrayed so that their center to center distance is exactly 1,80m over the whole façade surface, enabling the coverage of the entire façade geometry with only one single ceramic louver element.
During evening time the interior bamboo wall creates a deep secondary façade layer behind the white ceramic screen.
Besides cooling the entire building with river water, the shading exterior ceramic façade has been utilized as one of the main passive design measures for energy saving in the project.
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