Winner: EID Architecture Hong Kong
in design collaboration with Robert Gutowski Architects
Award: Honor Award for Unbuilt
The International Performance Center, located in the heart of Shenzhen’s Futian District, will be the newest addition to the city’s cultural repertoire. The design of the building aims for a simple, sculpted expression with a fluid interior wooden “instrument” surrounded by a taut, floating glass sheath. Together these two architectural elements capture the ethereal qualities of music performance. The buildings two main halls, the Dream Theater and the Star Concert Hall, have been carefully tuned by some of the world’s leading acousticians and theater experts, to create spaces that are not only classically optimal but future-proof and flexible. A series of public amphitheaters and stages are strung along a necklace of flowing paths inside and outside of the building and offer to visitors a cultural experience no matter if they are ticketed or not. The building will become a destination in Shenzhen.
The concept for the building is directly inspired by the curves and forms of wooden instruments, which have been under constant evolution after centuries of musical traditions in eastern and western civilizations. Each instrument’s characteristic shape — from the violin, to guitar, to piano, to pipa, to erhu — give a unique sound quality and acoustic property. The fluid wooden form of the IPC’s main architectural expression is surrounded by a skin of glass with two curvatures arranged in a syncopated pattern, giving the building an appearance of crystalline music. The vertical structural elements of the facade are in tension, much like the stretched strings of musical instruments. The architecture formed by the wood and glass skins creates a space for art, culture, and performance