Lakeside Theatre / Hexia Architects + MADAM
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Manufacturers : Toto, 大角木创 Dajiao wood, 美特幕墙 Metish
Text description provided by the architects. The Ginkgo Swan Lake is located in the Xiushui New District of Jiaxing. Based on a natural environment with abundant water resources, the project integrates the local rich traditional culture. At the same time, it adds unique moments, such as the ginkgo forest, the lake sightseeing mini-train, the art museum, the original ecological bird island, and the waterside homestay hotel. It is committed to creating a future community to experience life in harmonious coexistence of ecology and nature, wisdom and technology, art and humanities.
Architecture is not a boundary between man and the environment, but a medium for us to explore the relation with nature. The theatre is located along the side of the lake, which is all surrounded by natural elements, the mountains are the background for the stage, and the evening breeze and the moonlight are part of the show.
The building is half on the earth but the other half is under the water. When people enter, the large indoor steps bring people gradually down to the water level. Seats on different levels have distinctive views of the stage and the lake behind it. Without a show on, a stage is a place to relax, to watch aquatic birds flying close to the water’s surface. When the windows are open, the façade disappears, together with the boundaries. It allows people to enjoy the refreshing breeze and the reflection on the lake. The window sill becomes an outdoor bench that connects the interior and exterior space.
Nature is part of the building. Surrounded by nature, a patio brings nature into the building. With time passing by, the ginkgo tree goes from luxuriant growth of green leaves to the sudden falling of golden foils, from birds twittering to a snow-covered silence. The space changes with the seasons on the inside and on the outside. During the day, the sun projects the ginkgo tree onto the interior space, just like a clock going around. Magpies come to the nest, and the ordinaries happen randomly, surprising the visitors.
The roof of the building is an open-air theatre. Around the tree in the patio, there is a spiral staircase that brings visitors up to the roof, where they can sit on the large steps or stand against the railings, and enjoy the unobstructed view of a jade lake that lies beneath the azure sky.
The facade is clad in bronze-colored aluminum, deliberately not using abstract or figurative patterns to imitate nature, but allowing the building to blend in subtly. Air conditioning equipment is hidden under the big steps, and as the result the interior space is clean. Simple bamboo walls and ceiling surfaces bring cozy and comfortable to people, and they are free to sit on the floor.