Poly Cultural Centre

Photo © Huazhu
Photo © Yanzi Luo
Photo © Huazhu
Photo © Huazhu
Photo © Yanzi Luo
Photo © Huazhu
Photo © Georges Hung
Photo © Huazhu
Studio Georges Hung
Haide 3rd Road, 518058 Shenzhen

The design of the Poly Cultural Centre is a response to the ambition of the China Poly Group and the district of Nansan in Shenzhen to create a forum for culture through the interweaving of commercial and cultural facilities. It is an iconic symbol of the progress of the contemporary Chinese society. It is also a reminder that China is seeking its own model of contemporary architectural development that marries its need to modernize, to re-invent itself, to progress economically and to support its own cultural awareness.

The Poly Theatre as the principal cultural entity is situated towards the southeastern portion of the site. Its smooth-oval form is a strong counterpoint to the more sober commercial centre, giving it an easy and powerful visual identity. It shapes and creates the urban plaza experience both to the east and in the central part of the Cultural Plaza. Its form helps to give the Cultural Plazas its sense of place.

It is a theatre complex that is resolutely contemporary. It’s glass and metal skin displays a clean, open transparent space that symbolizes the purity of the performance arts. It does not seek the visual clutter of most theatre complex, but rather a bold, confident and transparent volume.

The Poly Theatre is a state of the art theatre complex that can accommodate 1400 spectators. Its staging equipment is one of the most complete, advance, and versatile. It can stage not only concerts and recitals, but also dramatic and dance performances, as well as opera productions.  The advance audio-video, lighting and acoustical systems are coordinated to give results that are on and above internationally recognized standards.

The Poly Theatre’s amenities include a VIP lounge, world-class western style restaurant, cafés, gift shops, and boutiques to enhance the theatre experience.

The Theatre is a strong cultural icon of this complex. Its geometry, appearing complex, has a very simple geometrical description. It is this simplicity that makes it extraordinary. The shape of the shell is constructed from a metallic open web trusses formed into the complex hyparwave curves towards the full height portion of the theatre  and a simple triangulated metallic membrane structure towards the rear of the complex where there are more point supports. Hyparwave is a geometrical description in which a surface is curved in several directions. The multi-curved surface allows a dynamic and extraordinary free expression of the form while taking into consideration the modules of construction. The triangular module is the most efficient geometrical form transferring stresses and providing very little bending moments. Thus members can be kept to a very thin section and thus reducing massing and loading.

The theatre is enclosed in a combination of triangular self-cleaning glass and zinc panel modules. They oscillate from a complete transparent expression (public) in the eastern part towards a more opaque expression in the western portion (private).

The commercial centre is given the maximum street frontage and easy accessibility. Its primary position on the first and second floor is a response to this requirement. It also creates the condition necessary for the formation of the cultural plaza. The internal layout is a clear retail organization with a central atrium space for circulation and light and a clear contemporary signage elevation for the retail stores.

The southwestern portion of the commercial centre with its three levels of retail space is dedicated towards a large department store typology. It is the commercial anchor of the centre providing the commercial draw of a large internationally renown store such as Wal-mart for example.

The retail anchor and the smaller commercial centre are organized along a protected exterior public promenade that rejoins the cultural plaza and the elevated urban promenade. It is an elevated commercial promenade that connects to all the different levels of the commercial centre as well accessing the other components of the cultural centre such as the Cineplex.

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