Meixihu Culture & Arts Centre / Hans Hollein & Partner

© Atelier Hollein

Unfolding around Meixi Lake, the Meixihu Culture & Arts Centre, designed by Hans Hollein & Partner, incorporates a carefully conceived mix of functions nerved generously with waterways, underground traffic roads, and boulevards. In a prime position, overlooking the waters and the ceremony island, the project will become the largest multifunctional world class culture and art centre of international standing in the Hunan province. More images and architects’ description after the break.

© Atelier Hollein

Our design follows in first instance the logistics of the site, the forces around, the will to integrate or to counter the urban setting. This is the rational side of it. As always and everywhere there is the other side, which has to do with emotion and feelings, this being the artistic side which shapes the volumes in a sculptural way. The layout of the combined site – commercial and cultural – is developed as an integrated sculptural composition – yet each of the two components can exist independently although they support each other.

view from main street 01

The grand theatre and art gallery are to be conceived as individual buildings each, yet they form a sculptural unity within the townscape. The auxiliary commercial services facilities within the site area to the west would support the culture and art centre enforcing its architectural standing among so many high-rise buildings. The mix of culture and commerce should also increase the feasibility of the project. The design should consider the relationship between the cultural and the commercial buildings and create a visual connection. Both shall be novel, creative and distinctive with the aim to make the project a world-class known landmark.

view from main street 02

Local traditional materials and approaches should combine with high technology and modern techniques of building and create a unique appearance considering the different functions of the museum and the theatre, the perception of the appearance should emphasize both unity and identity.

view from main street 03

Urban planning concept

The site is located between the Meixi Lake road to the north, which is a major traffic route of 40 m width and four lanes in each direction, and the 11a road which runs along the Meixi Lake shore in the south; this is more of a boulevard, 22 m wide with reduced traffic it should not interrupt the interaction between the cultural fore field and the shoreline of the lake. Laying opposite the ceremony island it is bordered by the Leifeng ave. West on the east side and the a6 road, an urban branch lane of 22 m width to the west. There is an underground station in the North West corner of the site. We propose the arrival of individual transport towards the north east corner where we would also propose the theatre building to be located. A main pedestrian route leads between these main access points of public and individual transport.

view from lake

Commercial facilities to the west:

Three high-rise buildings to the south facing the view to the lake, the ceremonial island and the old town, behind in the north the big shopping centre formed like a mound and split by a crevice where our pedestrian route goes through winding and splitting up – the route leads into a wide open landscaped area which it traverses, passing an artificial pond bordered by an open arena-like arrangement with its stage in the water.

© Atelier Hollein

Finally our route hits a diagonal walkway which cuts through between the art complex and the cultural complex starting in the north at our drop off area and leading onto the ceremonial island in the south – the bridge follows the diagonal orientation demonstrating a relation between art, culture and entertainment.

Architects: Hans Hollein & Partner
Location: , China
Partner in Charge: Christoph Monschein
Project Team: Ulf Kotz, Hisa-Wei Wang, SanHwan Lu, Gerrie Venter, Martin Rapp, Mansour Mosawi
Visuals: ZoomVP
Photo Credit: Atelier Hollein
Client: Meixihu Industry Co., Ltd
Project Type: Culture & Arts Centre, High-rise building for office, apartment and hotel use
Program: 300.000m² cultural centre, offices, apartments, hotel
Status of Project: Competition

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Cite: Furuto, Alison. "Meixihu Culture & Arts Centre / Hans Hollein & Partner" 05 Aug 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Robb

    This hurts my eyes. The lead designer took 2 different coop-himmelblau knock-off models and crashed them together to get the composition of shapes. Horrible.

  • boto

    I see and thought the same, coop-himmelblau knock-off !

  • kevin

    Did the Architects have some really bad food before they throw out this file of junk???

  • MechJ

    Horrible. This should only exist in our nightmares. On a side note, is it just me or that object in the middle is giving everyone the M. finger?