Finnish sensibility to China

Helsinki and Shanghai based studio, PES-Architects, have completed their seventh project in China: the Fuzhou Strait Culture and Art Centre. Fuzhou is the capital and one of the largest cities in Fujian Province. It has been ranked one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the world. In 2013, the Fuzhou Government hosted an international invited competition for the Strait Culture and Art Centre with the goal of strengthening the cultural image of the city and the Mawei New Town development area.

The Fuzhou SCAC is located next to the Minjiang River.  The building main entrance “Jasmine Plaza” is located on the building side facing the river - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

Birdseye: The Fuzhou SCAC is located next to the Minjiang River. The building main entrance “Jasmine Plaza” is located on the building side facing the river – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The facades are entirely clad with ceramic elements.  The glazed façade of the venue foyers called the “Curved Galleries” are shaded on the exterior by white ceramic baguettes with a lens shaped profile - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The facades are entirely clad with ceramic elements. The glazed façade of the venue foyers called the “Curved Galleries” are shaded on the exterior by white ceramic baguettes with a lens shaped profile – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

PES-Architects’ winning proposal 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 takes inspiration from the petals of a jasmine blossom, the city flower of Fuzhou. The five jasmine petal venues — opera house (1600 seats), concert hall (1000 seats), multi-functional theatre, art exhibition hall and cinema centre — are linked by a Cultural Concourse and a large roof terrace with public services and commercial and leisure facilities. 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 promenade-like route along the Liangcuo flood river connects the landscape to the interiors, as well as providing a connection between the metro station and the Centre.

Jasmine petals: The Jasmine Plaza includes three single story buildings surrounded by public plazas, riverside decks, and topped with public roof terraces - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

Jasmine petals: The Jasmine Plaza includes three single story buildings surrounded by public plazas, riverside decks, and topped with public roof terraces – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

ceramic facacde louvers: The white ceramic louvers are positioned so as to maximize the shading effect, and to miminize heat gain from the sunlight.  Each louver is 1,8m long - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

ceramic facacde louvers: The white ceramic louvers are positioned so as to maximize the shading effect, and to miminize heat gain from the sunlight. Each louver is 1,8m long – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The back side of the buildings is clad with 80x40cm large ceramic plate elements -  Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The back side of the buildings is clad with 80x40cm large ceramic plate elements – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

Concourse Lobby: The main entrance Concourse Lobby is an open space to be used for cultural activities.  The so called “Mushroom Columns” are hosting elevators and ventilation equipment.  “Sky Blossoms” in the lobby ceiling are introducing daylight and create a connection between the ground level and the roof terrace above - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

Concourse Lobby: The main entrance Concourse Lobby is an open space to be used for cultural activities. The so called “Mushroom Columns” are hosting elevators and ventilation equipment. “Sky Blossoms” in the lobby ceiling are introducing daylight and create a connection between the ground level and the roof terrace above – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

Pekka Salminen, Founder of PES-Architects describes the scheme,

“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.”

The main entrance levels to the venues can be accessed via stairs from the Curved Galleries - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The main entrance levels to the venues can be accessed via stairs from the Curved Galleries – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

Ceramics

Ceramic is used as the project’s main material due to its significance in the historical context of the maritime Silk Road trade connection between China and the rest of the world. PES-Architects worked with Taiwanese ceramic artist Samuel Hsuan-yu Shih to design the artistic ceramic interior for two main auditoriums according to acoustical demands, using the legendary “China White” material and new technology. All façades are clad with white ceramic tiles and louvres, while both the opera hall and concert hall showcase this cultural material in innovative and creative ways in the acoustic wall surface.

The interior surfaces of the opera hall and concert hall are clad with topographical ceramic panels. Based on extensive studies carried out with the acousticians, two types of acoustic panels were developed: an engraved panel and a mosaic tile panel. Both panels are adaptable to the topographical surfaces that are required to achieve high quality acoustics, as well as the visual language of the design.

The sphere fragment walls of the Concert Hall are clad with white custom designed ceramic tiles.  The ceramic tile are combined with solid bamboo material.  The ceiling reflectors “Light Cloud” consist of back-lid acrylic surfaces - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The sphere fragment walls of the Concert Hall are clad with white custom designed ceramic tiles. The ceramic tile are combined with solid bamboo material. The ceiling reflectors “Light Cloud” consist of back-lid acrylic surfaces – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The pattern of the ceramic tiles in the Concert Hall is a result of a complex acoustic script, developed to define the exact location of smooth/ reflective surfaces compared to rough/ diffuse surfaces. Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The pattern of the ceramic tiles in the Concert Hall is a result of a complex acoustic script, developed to define the exact location of smooth/ reflective surfaces compared to rough/ diffuse surfaces. Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The “China White” ceramic tiles in the Concert Hall are CNC engraved with a floral pattern, inspired by the peony flower, the national flower of China since the Qing Dynasty. Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The “China White” ceramic tiles in the Concert Hall are CNC engraved with a floral pattern, inspired by the peony flower, the national flower of China since the Qing Dynasty. Photo ©Marc Goodwin

Multifunctional Hall: The Multipurpose Hall is designed for a 700 seat audience.  The walls are clad with solid CNC cut bamboo blocks, shaped according to the acoustic needs.  The roof is equipped with a flexible cable net ceiling to enable a flexible usage of lighting and other technical equipment - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

Multifunctional Hall: The Multipurpose Hall is designed for a 700 seat audience. The walls are clad with solid CNC cut bamboo blocks, shaped according to the acoustic needs. The roof is equipped with a flexible cable net ceiling to enable a flexible usage of lighting and other technical equipment – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The Opera Hall is designed for a 1600 seat audience.  The shape is fully generated with the help of acoustic scripting tools, and the complex 3000m2 double-curved surface is clad with about 1.5 million custom developed ceramic tiles  - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The Opera Hall is designed for a 1600 seat audience. The shape is fully generated with the help of acoustic scripting tools, and the complex 3000m2 double-curved surface is clad with about 1.5 million custom developed ceramic tiles – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The complex geometry of the Opera Hall is continued to the entrance corridors, creating a homogenously connected double-curved skin - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The complex geometry of the Opera Hall is continued to the entrance corridors, creating a homogenously connected double-curved skin – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The side balconies in the Opera Hall provide for intimate spaces, embraced by the elaborate double-curved acoustic surface - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The side balconies in the Opera Hall provide for intimate spaces, embraced by the elaborate double-curved acoustic surface – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The free form acoustic surfaces of the Opera Hall are fully clad with custom developed ceramic tiles.  There are 13 different tile types, creating a floral pattern, inspired by the Jasmine, the city flower of Fuzhou - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The free form acoustic surfaces of the Opera Hall are fully clad with custom developed ceramic tiles. There are 13 different tile types, creating a floral pattern, inspired by the Jasmine, the city flower of Fuzhou – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

Bamboo

The Multipurpose Hall is designed for a 700 seat audience.  The walls are clad with solid CNC cut bamboo blocks, shaped according to the acoustic needs.  The roof is equipped with a flexible cable net ceiling to enable a flexible usage of lighting and other technical equipment.

The Multipurpose Hall foyer walls are partly clad with solid CNC cut bamboo material, as a reference to the interior design of the hall - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The Multipurpose Hall foyer walls are partly clad with solid CNC cut bamboo material, as a reference to the interior design of the hall – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The Concert Hall is designed for a 1000 seat audience.  Its walls are in the large scale composed of fractions of sphere surfaces, facing the audience seating area, and providing for the most functional acoustical shaping of the room - Photo ©Marc Goodwin

The Concert Hall is designed for a 1000 seat audience. Its walls are in the large scale composed of fractions of sphere surfaces, facing the audience seating area, and providing for the most functional acoustical shaping of the room – Photo ©Marc Goodwin

 


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