Pingshan Theater

Shenzhen, PRC | 2013


The importance of the architectural expression of the Pingshan Cultural District cannot be overstated. It is very important for the public and users to know that when they enter the district they are entering a unique creative part of Shenzhen with its own architectural identity, style, and aesthetics. Rather than referencing a purely architectural history, the Performing Arts Center appeals to an alternate though no less powerful history: the traditional Chinese stone garden. The ensemble of fused crystalline monoliths serves as a fitting termination to the great green axis of the elevated park running through the district. Like nature, the effect of the complex will give the sense of being very old and very new at the same time. It is a complex to be seen and experienced in the round, rather than only frontally as in conventional theaters. It will serve as an iconic destination, attracting the people of Shenzhen and international visitors as a space of public use and celebration whether they're attending the theater or not. The shops & public amenities clustered around the piazza can be used on a daily basis, rendering it active even when performances are not scheduled. The auditorium is configured to optimize engagement between audience and actors on stage. Rather than an extended main level, the audience is distributed among four intimate seating tiers not more than 20 meters from the center of the proscenium opening. This will offer a superlative theatrical experience, allowing for unamplified performances and very close viewing of the action on stage. The generous stage opening and full fly-tower will allow for the widest possible range of theatrical events, from intimate drama to operatic extravaganzas.

Project Info

Finalist International Competition  |  Type: Theater  |  Structure: Multiple


Project Credits


Jesse Reiser + Nanako Umemoto


Design Team

Neil Cook, Michael Overby, Hilary Simon, Kris Hedges, Eleftheria Xanthouli, Joy Wang, Juan De Marco, Ryosuke Imaeda


Local Architects

Weijin Wang, Weimin Gong, Xin Wang

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