It would be impossible to miss this new beautiful, bright red theater resembling a silk cloth in Huadu District of Guangzhou, China. Designed by Steven Chilton Architects, the 2,000 seat theater pays homage to the city’s bustling community of artists, especially those in performing arts and in textile design, specifically silk embroidery.
Ornate ropes and tapestries showcasing the mythological scenes and natural landscapes are a distinct feature of the areas creative abilities. Painted and embroidered silk has been a creative outlet in Guangzhou for thousands of years.
The fluid, twisting folds of the theater resemble the natural form of a silk cloth in motion. Additionally, the entrances were created to appear “tucked” onto the outer surface, another representation of silk cloth in motion. The surface is painted a bold red with the local mythological story of “100 birds paying homage to the phoenix” adorning its exterior.
The story depicted upon its surface was created using a series of illustrations that were digitized and then mapped. The illustrations were created by artist Zhang Hongfei.
Inside of the structure, designers created a modular space. The theater can be transformed from a 360 degree space into a variety of configurations. The space can be used for standard productions and performances, as well as those that require water special effects.
In the center of the stage, below the floor, there is a deep basin with a stage lift able to be raised or dropped into the water. At the lower elevation, water storage garages are kept below the surface to keep props and other stage setting elements.
The theater design is unusual and breathtaking, especially amongst the gray skyscrapers of the city protruding in its background.