Public Space Scheme
Winner: Qujiang Creative Cultural Centre by The Oval Partnership
Sponsored by FX Talks 2020
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:
‘Really interesting and varied space with a range of functions to support the performing arts. The central corridor has a stunning design’
Finalists & judges' comments
Gateways by Adam Nathaniel Furman
‘Unique and high-impact design. Significant impact on Granary Square with a broad range of people’
The Green Isle by Chain 10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute
‘Great use of the external landscape to enhance the entrance to the restaurant area’
Endless Blue Life Hall by G&K International Design Institution
‘High-quality fit-out providing a wide range of areas for visitor and public use. The incorporation of the children’s area is a novel addition to the space’
AX-Sharing by Lucien International-Masanori Design
‘Effective, minimal material palette. A sculptural black stair and walkway contrasts with the grey interior to act as a wayfinding device through the space. Natural ventilation and no artificial lighting’
Food for Thought Truck by Studio O+A
‘A competition entry that offers an alternative concept to public space. A great idea that has a lot of support from the community’
Anji River Palace Demonstration Center by Third Division Ronshine Group
‘Impressive peaceful environment; thoughtful layout and use of materials’