Located in Mawei New Town, facing the Minjiang River, the Strait Culture and Arts Centre is about connections. It connects cities and communities along and over the Taiwan Strait. It connects the Fuzhou Mawei New City Development and its waterways to the Minjiang River and the natural environment. And, finally, it connects people to culture.
The design takes inspiration from the petals of a jasmine blossom, the city flower of Fuzhou. The flower is manifested in the formal language and colour of the architecture. The five jasmine petal venues — opera house, concert hall, multi-functional theatre, art exhibition hall and cinema centre — are linked by a Cultural Concourse and a large roof terrace. The roof terrace is accessible via two ramps from the Jasmine Gardens as well as from the Central Jasmine Plaza, providing a seamless connection from the complex to the riverfront of the Minjiang River. On the underground level, a “shopping river” is located along the Liangcuo flood river to connect the landscape to the interiors, as well as providing a connection between the metro station and the Centre.
Dividing the large complex into smaller units gives the Centre a more human scale and makes it easy for users to navigate both indoors and outdoors. Each building has a core area — a semi-public, curved gallery that follows the curvature of the main façade — that integrates the public interior space with the landscape of the Jasmine Gardens around the building and further with the Mahangzhou island natural reserve in front of the Centre.
In the conceptual context of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the ceramic screens of the main façades are made of 42.250 ceramic louvres, each 1,75m long and covered with a white glazing. The section is lens shaped, related to the shape language used in the building, but also to maximize the shading capacity of the façade. The pattern has been developed with the help of a custom-developed script to cope with the double curvature façade surface, while maintaining the even element size covering the entire façade.
The Opera Hall features ceramic tiles in different shades of warm grey, and combines 13 floral motives to create the continuous 3000 m2 Jasmine Branches pattern. The complex double-curved geometry of the Opera Hall has been carefully shaped, together with the acoustic consultants, to optimise the acoustic reflections towards the audience.
The main inspiration used for the Concert Hall is the “Scrolling Peonies” of the Yuan Dynasty. A ceramics texture resembling the white Xuan Paper was developed, and a floral pattern resembling the traditional blue and white porcelain pattern, reinterpreted into modern graphics, was engraved into the surfaces of the tiles by a CNC machine.
Fuzhou New Town Development Investment Group
Chief architect: Pekka Salminen
Project architect: Martin Lukasczyk
Ceramic interior: Samuel Hsuan-yu Shih
Ceramic: Li Bin/ Shanghai Landmark Building Materials
Curtain wall: Nick Li/ Schmidlin Façade Shanghái
Marc Goodwin (1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
Virgile Simon Betrand (10)
Zhang Yong (3, 4, 5)
South Jiangbin East Avenue, Cangshan District, Fuzhou, China