Winner: Qujiang Creative Cultural Centre, Xiang by The Oval Partnership
Sponsored by Interface
The design responds to the local context, reinterpreting the architectural repertoires and traditions of the Xi’an region. This design vocabulary is seamlessly embodied throughout all spaces and across all scales.
The site is located beneath the central plaza of Qujiang Creative Circle as a key component of the masterplan. A sympathetically placed pavilion rises above ground and serves as the primary entrance to the Cultural Centre, standing prominently as a civic meeting point within the 500 sq m public realm. The subterranean building comprises a retractable 400-seat theatre, a performance and rehearsal room, a multipurpose gallery, exhibition spaces, workshops, a cafe and bar, together with supporting office and subservient spaces.
The venue experimented with the notion of poetic exuberance, exchanging spatial dialogues between permanence and ephemerality, hard and soft, light and dark, compression and contraction. The elevated vestibule forms the primary public threshold to the main theatre and the performance space. It also serves as a multifunctional space for events and exhibitions. Inspired by the traditional Chinese ‘Lián Láng’ – a connecting structure between buildings – a modern interpretation has been composed in a spatial arrangement of 8,000 finely crafted bronze metal flutes, honed and detailed using local craftsmanship. These sculptural flutes are suspended from the ceiling, cantilevered from the walls, and rise from the floor. In the centre of the space, a 13m-long metallic draping veil provides a contrasting softness and is juxtaposed with the verticality of the flutes. Together they create an emotionally uplifting spectacle and a sense of ‘weightless suspension’.
The judges said...
‘The double-height scale, use of high-quality materials and clever lighting design tackles the challenge of transforming a subterranean space into a civic art centre’
Finalists & Judges’ Comments
White Building Under Wan’an Mountain by Fanben Space Design Firm
‘Harmonious with nature. Exquisite design’
Eclairage Total Italia- Hydropower St Anton by Herward Dunkel Lichtdesign
‘Fantastic innovative lighting of space’
Brew92 Al Khayyat by Liqui Group
‘This entry is bright, bold and full of creative ideas’
Studio19 by Modus
‘A vibrant, energetic entry – an eclectic mix of furniture, space types and work settings. It’s playful!’
Sibling Espresso Bar by Travis Walton Architecture
‘This project shows exquisite attention to detail, materiality and experimentation’
Canberra Centre by Universal Design Studio
‘This scheme clearly demonstrates a fine attention to detail, and captures interesting 3D forms within the space’
Kohler Flagship Store Taipei by X-Line Design
‘Inspirational design and layout that invites you in and around the space’