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Experience the Essence of Chinese Culture

Shenyang Cultural Arts Center

Shenyang, China

In the crafting of any fine musical instrument, the sound quality ultimately depends on a delicate balance of reverberation and projection. The same principles apply when designing a musical performance hall—and that’s why the HHCP designers approached the Shenyang Cultural Arts Center/Odeum as if they were designing an enormous acoustical instrument.

The Center’s two large concert halls (combined seating capacity: 1,750) were designed in a “back-to-back” arrangement, with the two stages sharing a central backstage service spine. In addition to establishing a new trend in functionality, this strategy gives each concert hall its own specific lobby at opposite ends of the building, resulting in an organized separation of the audiences and a unique identity for each performance venue.

The polished wood finishes of the paired concert halls were inspired by the wooden acoustical chamber of a mandolin. Those instrumental contours also influenced the performance halls’ distinctive forms. An undulating glass case encapsulates the performance halls, forming the lobbies and circulation spaces while providing splendid views of the city across the river. The artistic composition of a solid mass within a transparent shell becomes a dramatic architectural feature both day and night, coupling beautiful aesthetics with magnificent acoustics.