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Center for Art and Culture Competition 2003 | Hefei, China

overview
China has a continuous history of 4000 years. This long-standing history has grown a rich and complex society. Historically, social continuity and stability came from the shared values of community engendered by human interactivity in rural villages. The stories and ritual enacting them has a long traditions, over thousands of years, are now shifting as historical and contemporary worlds converge. The intentions of this project is to be one of places to incubate the next generation of artists who will present these traditions in new and unfamiliar forms.

proposal
Heifei Performing Arts Center is conceived as an urban experience, and a great attractor for every generation. There are 4 Performance Halls (theater, symphony, opera, black box), a Museum, and an Art Center. The performance halls are placed in relationship to each other to create the Grand Theater Plaza, which is glass covered, for outdoor informal theater and music. The 'richness' of musical, theatrical, and visual arts presented in the 'formal setting' inside, will be first experienced informally outside through the ordered and rhythmic and scaled relationships of the Architectural ensemble, on the site. A garden path connects The Grand Theater Center to the Art Center east of the public green.

lotus and geometric order
The lotus, symbolizing creation, beauty, and expansion of the higher mind, is used as a generative symbol for this project. The site development, the Performance Halls, and the Art Center's form and structure are generated by interpreting the ideal geometries that pervade the organic form of the lotus. Metaphorically, the 4 performance halls are the lotus blooms growing out the of the pond. They are held together as one composition or parts of a whole in their precise and consistent geometric relationships. We have interpreted the pattern of the lotus and it's inherent geometric structure precisely using it as a 3 dimensional ordering system for 2 sites and all of the buildings. This results in a spatial and formal continuity similar to harmonic proportioning of the Renaissance.

art complex
There are 5 elemets that comprise this complex. The organization and layout is based on circulation, viewing, and servicing. The Mammoth Hall that has the scale and neutrality of an industrial space. Suspended within this volume are 5 galleries connected by bridges. People in motion, through this large space will be viewing the entire happenning, art and people, people as art.

principal
Michael Rotondi

project team
James Bassett
Kirby Smith
John Osborne
Devin McKonkey
Jose Vargas
Yip Yan Tang