Zaha’s Changsha “Megaplex” Is More Zaha Than We Can Handle
March 7, 2013
Zaha Hadid has unveiled her firm’s latest project in China, the Changsha Meixihu International Culture and Art Center. The massive urban project, which broke ground in October, is a grab-bag of swirly sculptural objects, each one complex and semi-independent of the other. Taken together, they constitute a strange, Martian landscape — a “pedestrian-friendly” Martian landscape — that, in ZHA’s words, will pose a “strong urban experience.” (As opposed to a weak, scrawny, timid urban experience?) The
complex megaplex centers around a central public space that feeds into three cultural centers: a contemporary art museum, multipurpose hall, and grand theater. Click through for more.
The theater is the largest of these structures and represents the project’s most dramatic form, a four-pronged carapace shell embellished with swooping lines and artfully placed glazing. Inside, elevated platforms cross over the large atrium space leading to a 1,800-seat performance hall, what will be the largest in Changsha. Move across the plaza to the museum, whose more blunted, less-fluid form belies its much more interesting interiors. The central atrium is the parametric cousin of Wright’s Guggenheim rotunda, complete with frilly, ornamental glass-and-mullion work and recessed walkways. The multipurpose hall completes the ensemble; its smooth features are positively pared down in contrast to its more hulking neighbors and almost neo-Niemeyeran in its graceful, level-headed repose. When — if?— complete, it’s safe to say that the site will be the largest concentration of Zaha’s work on earth.
All renderings: Zaha Hadid Architects
[via ZHA, video via designboom]