UK architect Heatherwick Studio has won a design competition organised by Haikou Tourism & Culture Investment Holding Group for a tropical performing arts centre for the island province of Hainan, at the southernmost tip of China.
Acting as a landmark for a new cultural quarter in the island’s capital, Haikou, the development will contain three performance spaces under one canopy: an opera house, a concert hall and a theatre.
The sweeping roof is inspired by Hainan’s volcanic geography and Hainanese Opera.
Heatherwick used physical and digital modelling to respond to the local ecology and climate.
The 3,800-seat venue will also contain learning, rehearsal and performance spaces.
It can accommodate large-scale shows, from opera, ballet and musicals to drama, fashion and multimedia performances.
Eliot Postma, Heatherwick Studio partner, said: “Many opera houses are cut off from their surroundings and only come to life when a performance is on. We wanted to create a space that is an extension of the city and will contribute to life on the street throughout the day.
“As a result, the canopy shelters a mix of different spaces that form an open-air village, of which the halls are a part. It blends the formality of performance with the informality of island culture, making opera more accessible and offering everyone a space to meet whether you have a ticket or not.”
Construction on the project is due to begin later in 2022.