Wuxi Grand Theatre
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Wuxi Grand Theatre

Wuxi Grand Theatre
By Redazione The Plan -
The Wuxi Grand Theatre, in the Chinese city of the same name, was designed by PES-Architects, a Finnish architectural practice. The theatre is not only culturally important, but also a suggestive landmark standing tall on an artificial peninsula extending into Lake Taihu.
The defining features are undoubtedly the 8 roof wings for the Rheinzink roof, adding to the sculpted, iconic nature of the complex. These roof wings are at different heights in a fan-like structure that extends beyond the edges of the facades towards the lake, producing a beautiful butterfly effect that also offers protection from the sun’s rays. The architects oversaw the entire project, right down to the design of the interior furnishings, working closely with various local firms and the companies that supplied the materials to find the best design and technological solutions.
The finished product is a wonderful amalgam of Chinese tradition and Scandinavian design in which every detail was created with great care. Inside the theatre, bamboo, with its warm hues, was the material of choice. Although traditionally seen as a “poor” building material, it provides excellent cladding for main hall because of its colour and physical and acoustic properties. In the foyer, the dominant feature is a wall made of glazed bricks where Scandinavian technology merges with a design inspired by the waves of the lake.
Outside, the 8 wings have a steel structure that is clad, on the top side, with Rheinzink-prePATINA blue-grey zinc titanium panels and, on the bottom side, with perforated aluminium. The zinc-titanium cladding was put in place using standing and angled seams, covering a total of 28.000 sq m. To solve the problems linked to such double curved cladding was to create numerous 1:1 models.
The metal cladding is also highlighted by the use of lighting. Thousands of LEDs in the wings make it possible to change the colour of the roof. In the foyer, near the main entrance, 50 light columns rise up to support the roof over the central hall and then continue outside, right down to the lake, making the complex even more stunning at night.

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