A new cultural centre called the Fosun Foundation in Shanghai has been attracting attention due to its shape-shifting facade. This dynamic structure is inspired by the open stages of traditional Chinese theatre.
The three-storey building features a curtain-like façade of bronze tubes that resemble giant pieces of bamboo. These tubes hang in three layers, creating a veil that moves vertically around the outside of the building, altering its shape.
Like art in motion, the tubes encircle the building and move to expose different parts of the building at different times of the day. After one flow cycle, the façade reveals the theatre’s stage on the balcony and people from the inside are treated to views of Shanghai’s modern Pudong district.
It’s believed that the innovative design is based on screens used in traditional Chinese theatres.
Designed by two British architectural firms, Foster + Partners and Heatherwick Studio, the 4,000-square-metre building is comprised of three levels. Its ground floor is dedicated to public spaces and information services, while a multifunctional hall and grand balcony are located on the second floor. Finally, the third floor houses the large exhibition hall.
Recently unveiled, Fosun Foundation is the centrepiece of a new financial quarter being built near the Bund waterfront district in Shanghai. Named the Bund Finance Center, it’s been under construction since 2013. At a total area of 420,000 square meters, the new development is home to eight multi-purpose buildings.
The Fosun Foundation was built to host various art exhibitions, fashion shows, cultural performances, forums, and summits. This modern architectural stunner has now become the new cultural art landmark of Shanghai.
According to one of its architects, Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio, ‘The concept is inspired by China’s ambition not to duplicate what exists in the rest of the world but to look instead for new ways to connect with China’s phenomenal architectural and landscape heritage.’