By Marcelo Gardinetti | september 2013
An atoll for culture. Surrounded by wetlands of the Songhua River, Harbin Cultural Island is the leading container buildings of the Grand Theatre and the Recreation Center Harbin, artificial plan which endorses natural geography mimicking the natural shape of the coast of the river located off the island.
MAD design set on the island two structures separated by an artificial lake that are connected only by a linear bridge. On one side of the lake is organizing the Grand Theatre, which has two halls for performances of Opera on a large scale and independent space for small shows. On the opposite side is the Recreation Center contains numerous facilities for congresses and conferences, educational and cultural areas, exhibition halls and an inn.
To embody the complex, is anchored a structure in tape form that rises from the floor to wrap the back two rooms, establishing formal gestures that reveal the front access to the lobbies. This device continues its journey outside the buildings, creating gardens and public spaces. The sides of the Cultural Center are linked with the river, blurring the boundaries between the natural and the artificial.
The ramp leading to the Grand Theatre, resembles a mountain path shaped by the wind. Along the way, visitors can appreciate the cultural and natural landscape of the island, reaching the highest point, where you will discover panoramic views of the countryside outside. Along the bridge, visitors can reach the Great Plaza, which allows developing an outdoor auditorium, turning the theater into a background scene with panoramic views.
The buildings will be clad in aluminum and white stone to blend with the landscape, often snowy. MAD won the competition to design a cultural center in February 2010, one of the events organized for the development of the Island of the sun, an important natural habitat north of China.