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Yiwu Grand Theater, MAD Architects

A sailing ship of glass: Yiwu Grand Theater by MAD Architects

MAD Architects has come first in a field that included Arata Isozaki & Associates, Atelier Christian de Portzamparc, GMP and KDG in the international competition to design Yiwu Grand Theater for the southern bank of Dongyang River in Zhejiang, a Chinese province.

Their design features two theatres, a conference centre and an open plaza that on its southern edge extends into the water. In keeping with the building's typology, the Yiwu Grand Theater presents itself as a Chinese junk with a layered formation of sails, giving it the look of floating on the water and thus making it part of the picturesque setting.  The outer shell's silk-like texture also refers to the eaves of the traditional Jiangnan architecture of the region around Yiwu.

To reduce overall energy consumption, MAD has given Yiwu Grand Theater a passive solar design.  The semi-transparent glass façade optimises the use of natural light plus it provides efficient ventilation in the warmer months of the year and conserves heat inside the building in winter in a solar greenhouse effect. Construction of the theatre is scheduled to begin in 2020.

Further information: 

Principal Partners in Charge: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Associate Partners in Charge: Fu Changrui, Liu Huiying
Design Team: Zhu Yuhao, Zheng Chengwen, Kazushi Miyamoto, Shang Li, Ma Yin, Jordan Demer, Guo Wenjia, Zhu Zixiao
Site area: 47,000 m2
Building area: 95,290 m2 (ground: 48,942 m2; underground: 46,348 m2)

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