Next year the construction site that will lead to the construction of an original semi-floating theatre will open in the Chinese city of Yiwu. The Author of the project is the MAD Architects studio led by Ma Yansong who conceived the structure as a set of sails, evocative of the Chinese ships that once transported goods across the oceans.
Designed to instill dynamism to the structure, as if it were to be a boat on water moved by the wind, the sails will be made of glass. Their sinuous forms also seem to pay homage to the Jiangnan-style roofs of the traditional architecture of the region. The transparency and lightness of the glass portrays a dynamic rhythm that seems to be dictated by the wind blowing. Located on the south bank of the Dongyang River, the “Yiwu Grand Theatre” includes a 1600-seat theatre, another smaller theatre, a convention centre, an amphitheatre, a large open square that extends into the water and a series of panoramic terraces that allow a wide view of the surroundings.
To reduce energy consumption, MAD Architects designed the building with a passive solar project. The continuous façade in semi-transparent glass was developed not only as a shading system, but also to optimize the use of natural light within the internal public spaces, forming a solar greenhouse effect in the winter season. While in summer, it acts as a ventilation system, improving the circulation of airflow inside and outside the building.