In order to meet the high development requirements of Zhuhai’s western area, the project aims to boost the appeal and strengthen the urban character of Doumen District, improving the quality of life of the local communities and promoting the rapid development of the surrounding rural area. The project is located in the riverside district of Doumen river, embedded in a beautiful natural landscape, surrounded by lush hills to North-East and a series of landmark buildings and public facilities.
The design has been inspired by the traditional Southern China mud-fish traps. These traps are hand woven and consist of two diagonal fibers interwoven with a third horizontal fiber, generating hexagons and triangles that provide the net its characteristic look. In our design, we used this pattern to define the master-plan grid which creates the guidelines for every unit’s footprint, for the landscape design and the elevated platforms.
The volumes are interlaced with each other in a free-form composition that strictly follows the master-plan grid. The public space circulation is organized on three levels: a semi-underground level is open to the underground car parking. The ground floor is the second level of circulation where all the shops and commercial units have their main entrance to the public. A third level is at the second floor where a system of elevated walkways lead to the art exhibition and performance facilities. In order to integrate the building with its surroundings, an elevated pathway crosses the adjacent road and leads to the riverside’s landscape.
The same pattern of hexagons and triangles has been also used to puncture the main building’s facade and to define the glass canopy covering the South side of the complex. The rest of the facades are treated with the rough surface of natural stone, to emphasize the sculptural composition of the volumes.
The facade of the main building of the Theater is made yet even more iconic with the addition of a second skin facade that reprises the same net pattern. The south-east facing facade is designed to shelter the building from the strong winds and storms while the north facades, oriented towards the inner plaza, are more open, transparent and permeable at the ground level. The covered plaza does not have sidewalls and is designed so that natural ventilation keeps it reasonably cool, at the same time avoiding overheating by excessive direct sunlight.
MUDI/MLA+ were awarded the second prize in the competition which was won by the Shenzhen Harbin Design University Institute. The jury hailed our work as a successful combination of a powerful concept rooted in the context and culture of Zhuhai and a convincing design.