Wuxi, China – In this Yangtze Delta city of more than 6m people, Finnish design firm PES-Architects has created a theatre and cultural centre in the image of a descending butterfly.
Set on an artificial peninsula jutting into Lake Wu-Li, the Wuxi Grand Theatre features innovative use of Chinese materials, including 15,000 hand-carved bamboo rods designed to improve the space’s acoustics. Finnish design flourishes are also evident, including rippling glass bricks that evoke a frozen lake. The theatre’s waterside location has prompted comparisons to the Sydney Opera House.
The Wuxi Grand Theatre is the latest example of a cultural construction boom that has resulted in the building of high-profile performance venues in many Chinese cities. Meanwhile, PES-Architects, which has offices in Helsinki and Shanghai, embodies the increasing creative ties between Asian and Nordic countries.
For more on Scandinasian collaborations, read our Milan Design Week report.