In the Fuzhou Strait Culture and Arts Centre Concert Hall, the extensive use of ceramics are functionally and aesthetically appropriate - and truly Chinese material - used in various ways throughout the building. It symbolically links to the overall design concept, based on the Centre's location by the Taiwan Strait, as well as the historical context of the Maritime Silk Road trade route between China and the rest of the world.
The 1000 seat Concert Hall is just one of the three performance spaces featured in the Fuzhou Strait Culture and Arts Centre complex. The acoustical shape of the hall optimizes all the reflecting surfaces to result in a 'rich reverberation and uncompromised musical clarity'. Two levels of curved and inclining walls surround the orchestra and its audience to create a large number of 'early lateral and enveloping reflections'.
A complex computational script was developed to find the final randomised pattern and exact location for each ceramic tile.
The separate spherical surfaces are covered with ceramic tiles, some being flat, whilst others have an angulated 3D shape, to compliment the acoustical needs. The "calm" flat tiles were installed where reflection was needed, and the "stormy" shaped tiles were placed where the surface needed to become diffuse. The traditional blue and white porcelain pattern, reinterpreted within modern graphics, is complimented by the engraving of a floral pattern into the surfaces of the tiles. The floral design was inspired by the "Scrolling Peonies" pattern from the Yuan Dynasty.
The ceramic interior is combined with bamboo detailing. Vertical bamboo slats on the front wall frames the pipe organ facade and harmonises with the stage surfaces, seats and flooring, which are also of bamboo.
The Concert Hall's overall shape was composed entirely with large sphere fragments, dimensioned and arranged in a way to maximise the lateral reflections toward the audience. The hall is a complex design but fully follows the acoustical functions and is visually convincing within the intimate space.
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