Xerjoff Magazine

Wuxi Show Theater: An Architectural Forest


Designed by Steven Chilton Architects, the Wuxi Show Theatre concept was inspired by the largest bamboo forest in China. Organic forms that celebrate the greatness of nature

The natural forms are transformed into a fascinating architecture created by the London-based studio Steven Chilton Architects. The Wuxi Show Theatre will rise in the ancient city of Wuxi in China, located in Jiangsu Province, celebrated by many poets of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) for its many stretches of water.

The circular-shaped theatre takes inspiration from Yixing’s Sea of Bamboo Park, the country’s largest bamboo forest. Supporting the upper part of the building is a dense sequence of columns running along the entire perimeter of the building. The columns, which recall bamboo stems, are arranged according to different angles and are clear around the various entrances. The feeling is to enter a thick jungle.

To make the call to nature even stronger there is a perforated roof flaunting a plant motif, where golden leaves realized in triangular anodized aluminium sheets are arranged to create both light and shadow effects. The architecture is able to unleash its maximum expression during the evening hours when the lights coming from below emphasize the white columns and the original roof. The theatre is designed to host 2000 spectators and should be officially inaugurated in December 2019.