Ma Yansong’s Beijing-based firm MAD designed this theater complex like a boat floating on the Dongyang River in Yiwu, in China’s Zhejiang province. Its design won an international competition in which Arata Isozaki & Associates, Atelier Christian de Portzamparc, and GMP, among others, participated.
Characterized by semitransparent glass ‘sails’ and surrounded by water, the ensemble comprises two theaters and a conference center – seating 1,600, 1,200, and 2,000, respectively – that rise beside a large plaza. Interspersed with landscaped terraces, the superposed glass pieces that form the enclosure present subtle curves, in reference to the eaves of the region’s ancient vernacular architecture. Bridges connect the complex to the river’s south and north banks, separating vehicular from pedestrian circulation. Construction is to begin in 2020.
Gran teatro de Yiwu Yiwu Grand Theater, Yiwu (China), 2018-2023
Administration Committee of Silk Road New District of Yiwu, Culture, Broadcasting & Television, Tourism & Sports Bureau of Yiwu, Yiwu City Construction Investment Group Limited
MAD Architects (Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano)
Socios a cargo Associate partners in charge
Kin Li, Liu Huiying
Zhu Yuhao, I-ting Lien, Fu Xiaoyi, Zheng Chengwen, Zhang Long, Wang Shuang, Jordan Demer, Connor Hymes, Lu Zihao, Maria Soledad, Hwiyeong Jeong, Otrebor Jean Francois, Zhang Kai, Wang Shuobin
ECADI (executive architect), EADG (landscape), Shanghai Xian Dai Architectural Decoration & Landscape Design Research Institute Co., Ltd. (interior design)
Acoustic & Theater Research Studio of ECADI (acoustics), RFR Shanghai (facade), Beijing United Artists Lighting Design (lighting), Kenya Hara + Nippon Design Center (signage design), Kunkel Consulting Theater Management (theater equipment)