WUXI – Inspired by Chinese and Finnish design, PES-Architects created a butterfly-like performance centre resting on a man-made peninsula in Wuxi, China.
A terraced stone plinth and eight enormous roof wings give the impression of a butterfly descending onto the shore of the Wu-Li Lake peninsula. The wings seem to hover over the main building – protecting the masses below from direct sunlight – and are held up by lines of steel trusses. Inside the steel wings are thousands of LED lights which change in color according to performances occurring within.
New methods of production and use of bamboo in Chinese construction made it possible to create a unique ceiling for the main auditorium space. 15,000 solid bamboo sticks were individually crafted to fulfill the acoustic and aesthetic needs of the space.
Finnish characteristics of ice and lakes ripple through the design, mainly in the form of 20,000 specially-designed glass bricks which cover the curved wall of the opera auditorium in the lakeside lobby.
Another special feature of the design are 9m high columns that start at the main entrance square and spread outside into the lake.