The grand “water-bamboo theater”: Even before the opening, the Chinese project was recognized as the most beautiful in the world
What it is, even difficult to describe in words. A fantastically beautiful paling of huge columns is similar to bamboo thickets and streams of water at the same time, but in reality it is a theater. It is located near Taihu Lake in Jiangsu Province of China, and the authors really got the idea for such an amazing design in a bamboo forest. The theater has not yet been fully completed and should open next year, but already now viewers flock to it every day – not to see the show, but to take a picture against the backdrop of incredible white “stems”.
The theater “Show Wuxi Tai” now, before its official opening, became a finalist at the World Architectural Festival. And it is quite possible that when summing up the final results this project is recognized as the most beautiful in the world.
To create such an incredible building, the architects of the London-based company Steven Chilton were inspired by the largest bamboo forest in China, located in Yixing. It represents 15 thousand hectares of hilly land, covered with “sea of bamboo”, as the Chinese themselves express it.
Only if the real forest, taken as the basis of the project, is albeit luxurious, but the most typical (you can hardly find bamboo thickets on Earth!), Then this is absolutely not realistic, abstract and represents narrow white columns. However, they seem narrow only from afar. Come closer – and they are huge. And it immediately becomes clear that the bamboo forest was just the starting point for architects’ imagination.
The “stems” are located around the perimeter of the round building and serve as something of a screen separating the facade from the surrounding landscape. Thus, the feeling of flight and transparency arises from the viewer even on the outskirts of the theater, and it looks fantastic.
A golden aluminum canopy at the roof level, consisting of plates of a triangular shape, personifies the leaves, which in bamboo forests usually hang on top of the stems with a dense carpet.
When you look through the “stems” from different points, every time everything looks different, thanks to an interesting combination of light and shade and not parallelism of the “trunks”. Structurally, each shutter compartment rests on a triangular lattice design that holds the tops of the columns. The entrance hall of the Wuxi Taihu Show building is fully glazed.
There are two thousand spectator seats in the theater, and the water show of the famous Belgian theater director Franco Dragone will show here. Hence, the visual similarity of artificial bamboo stalks with streams of water – so that the viewer pre-tunes in to the show.
The theater and circus performance “House of Dancing Water” has been successfully held at various venues around the world for the eighth year already. It is a stage performance on the water, and more than 80 actors participate in it – divers, circus performers, motorcyclists, gymnasts, dancers and just actors. In the center of the arena – a huge swimming pool with water, and the stage itself and the scenery throughout the entire hour and a half show transformed.
At night, the artificial bamboo forest is beautifully lit from below and looks like a mysterious beacon from a distance.
The cost of this grandiose project is kept secret by the architects, but it’s already clear that it is incredibly high.
By the way, in Bali, the daughter of a jeweler and designer creates masterful residential art objects from real bamboo.