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Poly Theater in Shanghai will open at late September

( ) 2014-06-27

Shanghai's first "waterscape theater" – the Poly Grand Theatre – will open in late September at Yuanxiang Lake, Jiading. The project was constructed from famous architect Tadao Ando's design, and the current project is in its final stages.

The theater is the second Shanghai cultural landmark designed by Tadao Ando. This building fully embodies his distinctive design elements, such as the use of fair-faced concrete material, natural architectural lighting effects and geometric figured interior designs.

With a regular cuboid appearance, each screen wall is carved out with a round or heart-shaped hollowed-out cylinder.

"The design of these cylinders, curves and geometric transformations, hid a lot of passageways from spectators. When a member of the audience walks on the stairs, they would have a feeling as if they had come into a kaleidoscope, as the end of the passageway is the dazzling stage," said Sun Jian, who is responsible for the construction work.

Various geometric shapes can be seen everywhere; the rounded ceiling of the entrance hall covered with a square "artificial star panel", and the "cylinder" elements throughout the main building. Known as a rare architectural form, the "cylinder" is seemingly simple but has amazing changes and linkages. These “cylinder” shapes interlace with each other and make up the entrance lobby, lounge and outdoor theater.

In addition to geometrical figures, Tadao Ando combined diverse elements such as water, wind and light with the architecture and let the natural landscape into the theater as a whole. Take a glance into the VIP room; and falling out of the French casement is a wide open view of the silvery lake. Take a look inside, and Tadao Ando has designed a square courtyard with clean water tank, concrete edges and natural daylight. These factors constitute an artistic space with a compatible structure.

Besides the professional theaters, two semi-outdoor theaters named "water stage" and "roof theatre" and some semi-outdoor plazas have also been set up in the building.

The overall design and layout of the Poly Theatre is formed by the natural extension to the interior space. It would form a complete landscape with Yuanxiang lake at a later time.

"All the water stages will connect to the lake, and the architecture looks above the waterline when you admire it from a distance,” Sun said.

According to the Jiading news report, the average ticket price will be under 260 yuan ($42), and nearly 10 percent concessionary tickets will be on sale to students.

Edited by Zhang Yuchen and Brian Salter



Jiading Fahua Pagoda

The Fahua Pagoda, 40.8 meters tall, is a square, brick-wood structure with seven stories, accessible by ladders.