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MAD Architects have designed the Harbin Cultural centre located on the Harbin Cultural Island. The Harbin Island of 1.8 square kilometres and construction area of 790000 square metres is located in the natural landscape of the riverside wetland north of Songhua River.

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Courtesy of MAD Architects

The Island is regarded as the music capital of the north as a result of its Chinese and Russian influences. The centre is a proposal to serve as an integral part of the cultural identity of the island in line with the Harbin Theatre, Harbin Labour Recreation centre, Harbin Great Square and the Wetland Park.

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Courtesy of MAD Architects

According to the architects the centre is a continuation of the natural environment, the huge building is designed as an “undulating snow covered mountain following a natural rhythm”.

To push further this idea of a snow mountain, the cladding will be in pure white aluminium, white stone and concrete.

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Courtesy of MAD Architects

Natural lighting will be used to the maximum so that during the day the need for interior lighting will be reduced. The skylight above the auditorium will serve to lighten the interior.

The grand theatre is made up of two theatres, the larger with a seating capacity of 1600.

The low level interior stalls covered in wood will allow for increased acoustic quality.

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Courtesy of MAD Architects

The stage is designed to allow not only western and modern performances but traditional Chinese ones as well. Hanging in the main hall is the VIP lounge with its curved acrylic lamps.

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Courtesy of MAD Architects

 The small sized hall with a seating capacity of 400 is connected to the main hall meant for smaller performances. The backstage is designed to allow for expansion, with natural landscape in the background the indoor-outdoor interaction is assured.

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Courtesy of MAD Architects

The architects have the following to say of the project “The art centre demonstrates the rich scale of the city, the nature and the people. It encourages the publicity and mass participation of Harbin’s art and culture activities. People can get a different sensory experience from different distances.”

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Courtesy of MAD Architects

Project: Harbin Cultural Centre
Designed by MAD Architects
Directors: Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano
Design Team: Jordan Kanter, Daniel Gillen, Bas van Wylick, Liu Huiying, Zhao Wei, Julian Sattler, Jackob Beer, J Travis Russett, Sohith Perera, Colby Thomas Suter, Yu Kui, Philippe Brysse, Huang Wei, Flora Lee, Wang Wei, Xie Yibang, Lyo Hengliu, Alexander Cornelius, Alex Gornelius, Mao Peihong, Gianantonio Bongiorno, Jei Kim, Chen Yuanyu, Yu Chenhao, Qin Lichao, Pil-Sun Ham, Mingyu Seol, Lin Guomin, Zhang Haixia, Zheng Fang, Li Guangchong , Wilson Wu, Ma Ning, Davide Signorato, Nick Tran
Site Area: 1,800,000 sq m
Harbin Theater
Building Area: 77,000 sq m
Building Height: 56 m
Harbin Labor Recreation Center
Building Area: 41,000 sq m
Building Height: 47.6 m
Location: Harbin, China

By Hassan Mohammed Yakubu

Courtesy of MAD Architects

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