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34 PROJECT REPORT: CULTURAL, CIVIC & FAITH BUILDINGS


The Sea of Bamboo across the lake seemed the ideal place to draw inspiration from, given its familiarity to the residents of the city


everyone what it’s supposed to be.” At the same time they wanted to ensure the use of local references were not too blatant or pastiche.


The Sea of Bamboo across the lake seemed the ideal place to draw inspiration from, given its familiarity to the residents of the city. “As kids they’ll have wandered through this forest, it will be a sort of primal memory for them,” Chilton says. The architects discovered it had been used in a scene from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon which, admits Chilton, “was quite exciting.” They also came across a number of architectural works which had used light columns, and so their final concept – using slim white steel columns to mimic the bamboo – “quickly crystallised around that idea,” he says. While he admits it was an obvious local reference point, the architect says “they tried to deliver that in a way where actually it’s still interesting as a stand-alone piece of architecture.” Despite the theatre being home to a permanent show, it isn’t something they drew inspiration from, for a couple of reasons. Chilton says what Dragone produce will similarly be inspired by the locality and


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therefore “harmonise with anything we do. They approach it in a similar way.” The company also typically include a lot of digital elements, and the show will constantly evolve. “It will continue to develop, so you don’t want to take anything from it because it may not be there!” Although Wanda didn’t get too involved in the design itself, they did collaborate with the practice on certain elements. “They set the parameters, it needed to fit within a certain volume,” Chilton says. They had to resolve what he describes as “two opposing forces”, in terms of both the car park and the building needing to be a certain size. “You had the building wanting to push out and the car park pushing in,” he explains.


This meant the final building ended up slightly smaller than originally planned, “but that’s just part of the design development process,” Chilton says. They had the client’s full support with the most “‘designed’ elements” – the building itself, the canopy, and the columns. “They had faith in us. They liked our vision for what it is, what it’s trying to be, so it was a good collaboration.”


ADF AUGUST 2019


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