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The Museum of Cantonese Opera Art / Architectural Design and Research Institute of SCUT + Architectural Designand Research Institute of Guangdong Province

The Museum of Cantonese Opera Art / Architectural Design and Research Institute of SCUT + Architectural Designand Research Institute of Guangdong Province
The Wansha Lake in The Center. Image © Jing Guo
The Wansha Lake in The Center. Image © Jing Guo

Nightview. Image © Jing Guo Dialogue with city’s public life. Image © Chao Zhang The Underground Exhibition Hall. Image © Zhixiong Zhao © Chao Zhang + 23

Guangzhou, China
  • Lead Architects: Qian Guo
  • Design Team Of South China University Of Technology: Qian Guo, Wei Gao, Shaopang Zhuang, Li Sun, Zili Xu,Xiaoxue Li, Kai Huang, Lei Xiao, Yingmei Lu, Xin Luo, Shuai Sun, Mengfan Zhang, Jiayi Ma, Zhengyuan Fang,Fengdeng Wan, Teng Li
  • Design Team Of Architectural Designand Research Institute Of Guangdong Province Design Team: Gang Jiang, Ying Xu, Xing Chen, Ning Li, Zhihao Liang, Chunbin Cai, Qiong Chen, Jiehua Huang, Xudan Pan,Xuezhen Xie, Kai Guo
  • Interior Design: Guangzhou Seer Design Institute Co.,Ltd.
  • Clients: Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Television and Culture of Liwan,Guangzhou. Housing and Construction Bureauof Liwan,Guangzhou
  • Videos: Southern Metropolis Daily Management Co.,Ltd. Guangzhou Liang Heng Yi Shu Culture Media Co.,Ltd., The Research Institute of Historic Environment Conservation and Regeneration, South China University of Technology
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Dialogue with city’s public life. Image © Chao Zhang
Dialogue with city’s public life. Image © Chao Zhang

Text description provided by the architects. In 2012, Guangzhou Municipal Government decided to build the Museum of Cantonese Opera Art in order to conserve and inherit the now endangered Cantonese Opera in Xiguan. Xiguan was a vital area for Cantonese Opera in the ancient city of Guangzhou and it is now the Liwan District.Cantonese Opera and Lingnan Garden were deeply rooted in this district.

Aerial View. Image © Chao Zhang
Aerial View. Image © Chao Zhang

The water, garden and tea-house culture in Xiguan had significantly influenced the development of Cantonese Opera; therefore, typical Cantonese Opera performance space extends into gardens and tea houses.To better inherit the traditions of Cantonese opera, the project explores the real "cultural space" through the existence of Cantonese opera culture from the perspective of Genius Loci.

Diverse performance platform
Diverse performance platform

In terms of architectural style, the atmosphere of the venue and the characteristics of the city combined with the value of opera’s history and culture make it clear that the best solution is to recreate a " Lingnan style traditional garden."

Dialogue with city’s public life. Image © Chao Zhang
Dialogue with city’s public life. Image © Chao Zhang

The proposition paid homage to the history of Cantonese Opera and Lingnan gardens. By combining the spiritual quintessence of Cantonese Opera and the functionality of Lingnan gardens, the resulting architecture and garden space sought to achieve a contemporary dia-logue between the two major cultural symbols of Lingnan across time and space.

Masterplan
Masterplan

Traditional garden in modern times
From the perspective of contemporary urban design, the project explores the relationship between traditional garden forms and the needs of the public. Constructing a traditional garden in a high-density city center increases urban public space and promotes public involvement. At the same time, the layout of the garden-styled museum is compatible with the existing urban tissue. Located in the heart of the old Guangzhou, the opera muse-um has become a new city landmark with the taste of ancient Xiguan.

The Underground Exhibition Hall. Image © Zhixiong Zhao
The Underground Exhibition Hall. Image © Zhixiong Zhao

The museum is divided into the north and south bank by Liwan canal. The main exhibition spaces and gardens occupy the south bank, while the additional service space occupies the periphery of the museum at the north bank. The space of the museum is articulated by a series of themed gardens.

Garden, Exhibition, and Garage Three-Layer Space System
Garden, Exhibition, and Garage Three-Layer Space System

The general layout of the museum is programed around a North-South axis centered at Wansha Lake scattered with six sub-garden spaces. The flow of water threads through six gardens, forming an organic unity. The space to the west of the longitudinal axis is for exhibitions and grand performances, while the east is for recreation, temporary exhibition, and small-scale performances.

© Chao Zhang
© Chao Zhang

The functions of the Cantonese Opera Art Museum is providing spaces for exhibitions,performances, education, research,public usage and everyday life in Guangzhou. All in all, inheritance and development of the Cantonese Opera art is the core objective of the museum.

Nightview. Image © Jing Guo
Nightview. Image © Jing Guo

Living Inheritance
The Museum of Cantonese Opera Art is a traditional Lingnan architecture that utilizes modern construction methods. Not only did it re-invent the wood clad steel construction, the architecture dramatized the “Lingnan-garden” atmosphere by combining traditional Cantonese wood carving, Chaozhou wood carving, brick carving, stone carving, clay sculpture, Shiwan pottery sculpture with contemporary arts and crafts, without overshadowing any of the traditional Lingnan architectural form.

South-North Section of South Bank
South-North Section of South Bank

To visitors, the museum itself offers a comprehensive experience of immersing in the Cantonese Opera culture, Lingnan traditional crafts, and metropolitan life. Therefore, the Cantonese Opera Art Museum simultaneously conserves, exhibits and inherits the intangible cultural heritage.

View from Liwan Canal. Image © Jing Guo
View from Liwan Canal. Image © Jing Guo

Respecting the environment and life style of the Cantonese locals, and the close relationship between Cantonese Opera and traditional landscape, this design proposition meticulously set the constructions along the Liwan bay, featuring the gorgeous and extraordinary opera art and culture of Lingnan, providing a lively and historical space for their living inheritance.

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Project location

Address: Enning Road, Liwan District, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "The Museum of Cantonese Opera Art / Architectural Design and Research Institute of SCUT + Architectural Designand Research Institute of Guangdong Province" 04 Nov 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/898889/the-museum-of-cantonese-opera-art-architectural-design-and-research-institute-of-scut-plus-architectural-designand-research-institute-of-guangdong-province/> ISSN 0719-8884
The Wansha Lake in The Center. Image © Jing Guo

广州粤剧艺术博物馆 / 华南理工大学建筑设计研究院 + 广东省建筑设计研究院

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