Designed by award-winning international architects The Oval Partnership, the Qujiang Creative Circle opened its doors in late 2018 and is being hailed as Xi’an’s first-of-its-kind creative cultural complex. The long-awaited subterranean cultural venue, which is destined to become the heart of the city’s civic district, officially opened to the public in July, 2019. The design of the Qujiang Creative Cultural Centre responds to its local context, incorporating elements and materials that evoke a modern re-interpretation of Chinese architectural repertoires and traditions characteristic of the Xi’an region. This design vocabulary is seamlessly embodied throughout the development, spanning all scales—from city level down to the smallest of details.
A Subterranean Gem
The Creative Cultural Centre is slotted beneath the central plaza of Qujiang Creative Circle as a strategic component of the integrated masterplan. A sympathetically placed pavilion rises above ground and serves as the primary entrance to the Cultural Centre, standing prominently as a pavilion opens into an elevated vestibule which functions as the primary public arena serving the main theatre and performance space. It also provides a multi-functional space for creative events and exhibitions. The design experimented with the notion of poetic exuberance, exchanging spatial dialogues between permanence and ephemerality, hard and soft, light and dark, compression and contraction. Inspired by the traditional Chinese ‘Lián Láng’ — a connecting structure between buildings — a modern interpretation has been composed in a spatial arrangement of 8,000 pieces of intricately crafted bronze metal flutes, finely honed and detailed using local craftsmanship. These sculptural flutes are suspended from the ceiling; cantilevered from the walls; and rise from the floor. In the centre of the space, a 13m long metallic draping veil provides contrasting softness and juxtaposes the verticality of the flutes. Together they create an emotionally uplifting spectacle and a sense of “weightless suspension”.
A Cradle of Creativity
The Qujiang Creative Cultural Centre comprises a retractable 400 seat multi-functional theatre, a performance and rehearsal room, a multi-purpose gallery, exhibition spaces, workshops, a café and bar together with supporting office and auxiliary spaces. This state-of-the-art multifunctional facility will host a diverse programme of cultural performances, concerts, educational events, and exhibitions. It is where social interactions, community engagements, cultural inclusion, local creativity and the collective identity of people in Xi’an can be nurtured and celebrated. The Oval Partnership’s vision was to create a legible connection between multicultural activities within the heart of a new urban district, providing a sustainable framework to inspire the new generation of innovative and creative pioneers converging around Xi’an.
Project Name: Qujiang Creative Cultural Centre
Location: 3369 Yan Xiang Lu, Qujiang New District, Xi’an, China
Status of Construction: Completed
Completion Date: July 2019
Gross Floor Area: 5,000 sqm
Client/Owner/Developer: Xi’an Vanke & Xi’an Qujiang Cultural Industry Investment (Group) Co Ltd
Design Architect: The Oval Partnership
Interior Design Firm: The Oval Partnership
Images: Boris Shiu