The “Ribbon” connecting the sky and the lake.
苏州湾文化中心位于苏州吴江太湖东岸，是苏州湾启动总体规划的标志性项目。2013年，当普利兹克奖得主、建筑设计师克里斯蒂安·德·包赞巴克（Christian de Portzamparc）初次来到东太湖看到这一片空地的时候，开阔的平原、无垠的水天一色令他印象深刻。
Suzhou Bay Grand Center is located on the east bank of Taihu Lake in Wujiang, Suzhou. It is a landmark project at the start of the master plan for Suzhou Bay. In 2013, when the Pritzker Prize winner, architect Christian de Portzamparc came to East Taihu Lake for the first time, this open plains and the boundless water and sky made him impressed.
The planning of Wujiang Taihu New Town is even more ambitious, and the prosperous scene like Manhattan is on paper. The city on the blueprint has a wide trail perpendicular to the lakeshore as its central axis, where people can meet. The cultural center is at an important position on the lakeshore at the end of the axis. Portzamparc realized that there was a need for a link to connect the elements of the site ( City, sky, lake, people), and the inspiration for the “Ribbon” comes from this.
| 连接的飘带 |
Architect designed a long strip of “Ribbon”, shaped like “∞”, from one wing at the top of the building to another, and then across the facade, crossing the pedestrian axis at a height of 40 meters above the ground. Constructing a visual opening to the lake, two high and low steel structure ribbons are woven into a very iconic architectural feature, which is not only the roof of the Grand Theater, but also the sidewalls of the Expo Center.
The seemingly soft “Ribbon” acts as a bridge and a viewing platform along Taihu Lake: the two loops of “Ribbon” cover the central avenue where the pedestrian axis meets the lake. This central location is convenient for tourists to visit freely in the north and south of the axis. There are many cultural facilities on both sides. The “Ribbon” move people from the lakeside to the air to the ground without climbing steps, and merge vertically with the “∞” shaped Corridor that extends into the Taihu Lake, realizing the circulation and integration between the building and the city.
| 律动的表皮 |
The “Ribbon” design at the core of the project uses anodized aluminum panels as the surface material, aiming to integrate the city and the lake through reflection to form a new landscape. The entire “Ribbon” will form an iridescent reflection spanning more than 500 meters. Viewed from the city axis, the “Ribbon” resemble the flying bridges in Suzhou and the dancing sleeves in Kunqu Opera. It exists in the overall urban landscape in the form of curves and reverse curves. The dancing of the ribbons drives the lines up, sometimes blocking and sometimes revealing the sky, forming a different kind of landscape. The architect also cleverly set up a pedestrian passage on the ribbon: a 40-meter-high path on the streamer, from which you can overlook the entire city and the unique scenery of Suzhou Taihu Lake. This kind of architectural experience of changing scenery is exactly similar to experiencing the beauty of Suzhou gardens.
| 活力的剧院 |
Stepping into the theater hall, the 22-meter-high promenade gives people a sense of palace-like emptiness. The mottled light and shadow penetrating the glass curtain wall cover the lobby, which is full of rhythm and dynamics of musical notes. The rhythm composed of a series of color changes is like swimming in music. Portzamparc believes that people are exploring architecture in sports, which is similar to enjoying music. Outside the glass curtain wall on the west side of the theater, there is a “bamboo forest” of steel structure, which creates the mottled changes in the hall, but more importantly, it reduces most of the western sun and makes the building more energy-efficient.
The Circular Gallery
The 600-seat lyric hall adopts the design of the most popular “black box multifunctional theater”, and the ratio of stage and seating space can be adjusted according to the type of performance. There is also a circular art space outside the theater hall, which provides a space for various small-scale exhibition activities. The high-degree-of-freedom stage presents the infinite possibilities of performance.
Lyric Hall Interior View
Opera Hall Interior View
Different from the neatly arranged auditoriums of traditional theaters, the entire opera hall adopts an asymmetrical design. The auditorium is like layered petals hovering upwards, which are heavily wrapped by green leaf-like acoustic decorations and mechanical anti-sound ceilings on the inner wall of the theater. The poetic design brings the audience a natural immersive experience and the seat on each “petal” is unique.