Project: Shanghai Cultural Center
Sara Pepitone -- Interior Design, 7/1/2012 12:00:00 AM
|Project: Shanghai Culture Square|
Location: Shanghai, China
Finished: November 2011
Architect (Interiors): Studios Architecture; Team 7 International; CT Design Consultants, Ltd.; and SWG Architects.
Construction Cost (Interiors): US $20-25 million
"The owner's worldview had really changed [since we built the Grand Theatre]," says Thomas Yee, principal of Studios Architecture, referring to the fact that this was no uniform, utilitarian project. "Expressiveness is part of the Chinese cultural mindset these days."
With the help of local firm Xian Dai Architectural Design, Studios turned a large funnel in the
lobby space (from roof to ground floor) into a critical part of the entry experience. Besides having decorative appeal - horizontal, diagonal and criss-crossing rings shaped by Xian Dai - the funnel functions as a sort of internal lantern during the day. "Everything," says Yee, "has to have meaning or cultural root [in China]."
Compared with this experience in the 90s, Yee says he's noticed extraordinary advances in the skills of local fabricators and subcontractors, illustrated best in the horizontal and vertical compound curves in the wood balcony. Adds Yee: "They're way ahead of where they were 12 years ago."
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