Dalian Wanda Group
Dai Show Theatre
Designing Xishuangbanna’s Dai Show Theatre allowed us to bring a unified architectural language to the building that complimented the show within
- // 2015
- // Building
- // Wuhan, China
The Dai Show Theatre is a purpose-built theatre with unique water performance elements, part of a major new resort by the Dalian Wanda Group in Xishuangbanna, China. The 1,183-seat theatre is inspired by the palm fronds of this tropical region, a motif repeated and rephrased many times in the theatre.
“We wanted the theatre to seamlessly connect to its surroundings, as if it was a living and growing addition to the wider garden of Xishuangbanna.”
The structure is inspired by the geometry of the palm frond, with folds that increase structural rigidity while echoing the roofs of local Dai architecture. The 110m diameter golden roof is split into two tiers, again resembling the folds of palm fronds, and acting as a canopy for the
open-air lobby, where openings allow natural ventilation. Folding patterns repeat through the interior and the VIP areas, where long-textured leaves form walls that twist up into the ceiling, and at times transform into radial embosses chandeliers.
The main stage has a 14-metre-wide performance basin, which can be filled in 45 seconds and drained in 20 seconds. It contains an 8-metre wide pool plug, which lowers 5.5 metres to allow a dramatic 15m high-dive from a catwalk. The second stage section can also be used wet or dry, and the third section is a dry upstage area, used to symbolise a vast infinity, or for practical storage.
// 110m diameter golden roof
// Low grid height just 18m above the seats
// 1400-square-metre stage split into three sections
// 14-metre-wide performance basin on main stage
// Basin can be filled in 45 seconds and drained in 20 seconds
// Basin contains an 8-metre wide pool plug, which lowers 5.5 metres to allow a dramatic 15m high-dive from a catwalk
// Second stage can be used wet or dry
// Third stage is a dry upstage area
// 10 acrobatic gates for an elaborate 3D flying system
Show Director Franco Dragone Theatre Consultant Auerbach Pollock Friedlander Structural Engineer Atelier One Façade, Structure, Interior, Landscape and Lighting Design STUFISH Local Architect / Engineer IPPR International Engineering Acoustic Consultant Jaffe Holden Acoustics