Suzhou Cultural Center

Christian de Portzamparc 

On the shores of Lake Tai, in the city of Suzhou’s Wujiang District, known for its canals and located 110 kilometers from Shanghai, stands this cultural center by the French architect Christian de Portzamparc, surrounded by a 500-meter-long steel-and-aluminum ribbon forming a number 8. The metal belt stretches along the roof and the facade, and between curves and counter-curves incorporates a viewing spot 40 meters high.

The 202,000-square-meter complex is organized in two wings. The north one contains a 1,600-seat theater and opera house, a 600-seat modular hall, a music conservatory, and a cinema. And the south provides educational spaces, a conference center, and exhibition galleries for a history and a city museum. A shopping mall, restaurants, and cafés complete the program.