Situated between the Cang mountain chain, rising 4,000 meters in height, and 40 kilometer-long Lake Erhai, the city of Dali was a significant stop on the ancient tea and horse road, and is now an important tourism destination. The old town has largely been preserved and still has some remains of the historic city wall and gate towers.

Inspired by the powerful surrounding landscape, Zhu Pei searched for landscape-related references to solve the architectonic challenges for the Performing Arts Center. A widely cantilevered rectangular roof spans across a built landscape of free-flowing indoor and outdoor spaces, some of which can be combined as an interacting spatial system. As with mountains and valleys, the strong shape of the roof reflects the more organic landscape below and points to the old Chinese principle of yin and yang, where two opposites combine together to form a whole. Formally expressed as organic-shaped hills, the partly sunken spaces transform into a natural garden landscape, promising a high experiential quality that extends inside to the public theatre.

source: v2com