Those familiar with Zaha Hadid Architects' body of work should have no trouble recognizing its late founder's signature style in the Changsha Meixihu International Culture & Arts Centre. First conceived back in 2011, the project is now finally complete and hosting its first exhibit.
The Changsha Meixihu International Culture & Arts Centre is split into three separate buildings that are arranged around pedestrian routes that crisscross the site. With its fluid white glass fiber-reinforced concrete facade contrasting with expansive glazing, the design brings to mind Hadid's brilliant (and controversial)
The center's three buildings contain a contemporary art museum, a large theater, and a small theater, respectively. The art museum includes eight galleries which are centered around an impressive skylit atrium that can be used to host major installations and events. Elsewhere in the art museum lie community workshops, a lecture theater, a cafe and a store. Its first exhibition is currently ongoing and is by MOTSE, a collective of 40 scientists and artists from Shenzhen.
The large theater, which seats 1,800, has a stunning wooden interior. There are also lobbies, bars, and hospitality suites, as well as the rehearsal studios and other backstage facilities required to run a theater. The smaller secondary theater is a more modest 500-seat multipurpose hall that can be used to host fashion shows and music performances, for example.
2019 has been a big year for Zaha Hadid Architects in China, and in addition to the Changsha Meixihu International Culture & Arts Centre, the firm has completed Beijing's Daxing International Airport and Leeza Soho, plus a new luxury hotel in its Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre.