The Culture Center in Guangxi was officially opened as a venue with the New Year’s concert in January 2018. Four years ago, gmp won the architectural competition for the Center, and was then commissioned with the project. The approx. 115,000 square meters of gross floor area of the building is made up of the opera house with 1,800 seats, a concert hall with 1,200 seats, and a multipurpose hall for 600 visitors. The varied program of the venue includes operas, ballets, gala shows, concerts, and multimedia performances, and is an indication of the building’s high degree of flexibility. The stages can be individually adjusted to the respective requirements of the planned events.
The design for the new Culture Center in Guangxi makes poetic reference to the typical scenery of Guangxi Province. The karst mountains along the Li River appear as a theme in the design, where they are incorporated in an abstract form that gives the three buildings their unique appearance. The cantilevering roof surrounds the three building volumes like a cloud. Like the buildings, the roof also features a pattern of stripes and is subdivided into individual curved beams. These loadbearing elements are clad with white aluminum sheeting with a surface texture of fine folds. Between the buildings, separate access is available to all three entrances via public passages. A plinth made of light-colored natural stone forms the base of the entire complex, and a public plaza towards the south-east opens out to a large lake. The glass facade ensures that the cultural events can also be viewed from the outside.
The opera house is located to the south-west of the site towards the river. Whereas the main hall is surrounded by a ring of functional ancillary rooms, the three balconies in the hall are accessed via large open staircases and the balcony foyer. The interior of the opera house features wooden surfaces, which are instrumental in creating optimal room acoustics as well as a convivial concert atmosphere. The approx. 600 square meter stage is suitable for all large stage sets and can be adapted to suit.
The concert hall to the east has been designed as an elongated hexagon. The venue provides about 945 seats in the stalls and 255 on the first balcony. On the inside, flowing movements determine the design. Undulating wood ribbons meander along the walls and are replicated in similar shape on the ceiling. Lifting platforms, elevators, and scenery ropes are harmoniously integrated in the ceiling and stage construction. The concert hall boasts an organ with 64 registers, which means that the entire musical repertoire can be performed, from chamber music to a Bruckner symphony.
The open position of the building on the banks of the Yongjiang River provides views in all cardinal directions. Viewed from the north and south, the external appearance of the culture and art complex is dominated by its stripe feature, whereas from the west or east, passers-by can see primarily the parabola-shaped silhouette.
Formed in 1965 by Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg, the architects’ practice gmp is taking on responsibility for a project from its outline design idea through to the construction and interior design. Over a period of more than 50 years all gmp-partners and their team’s completed more than 410 projects to date and won over 380 first prizes in architectural competitions. Most famous is their airport architecture: Berlin-Tegel was opened as a drive-in airport in 1975, which is until today renowned as a blueprint for this typography and started gmp unprecedented history of success.
The practice’s architectural approach is characterized by the Vitruvian criteria: solidity, durability and beauty. Beyond this approach, the practice always complies with the different certified guidelines applicable in different cultural spheres, as agreed with the respective client. gmp is currently involved in several projects around the world, operating in more than 16 countries.