SHL Shanghai studio reveals design for two major cultural projects

So Me 04 SHL West Bund Grand Theatre West Bund Dome Art Center

Our Shanghai studio is adding the final touches for the designs for two performing arts spaces in the West Bund cultural district in Shanghai, China.

The West Bund is the most rapidly developing art, culture, and commercial district in Shanghai. Located along the banks of the Huangpu River just south of the center city, it represents a concerted effort by the Shanghai Municipal Government to create an iconic world-class urban waterfront comparable with the Paris Rive Gauche and London South Bank. Formerly an industrial zone built out during the early 20th century, the current development is guided by a master plan that combines existing structures and new buildings with a pedestrian-oriented landscape that encourages a lively, bustling atmosphere. At 9.4 km2, when completed, The West Bund will be the largest cultural district in Asia.

The West Bund Grand Theatre is a new building that is the first riverside facility in China to be designed specifically for musicals.
Scheduled for completion in 2024, the theatre is one of the district’s anchor art venues. With a design inspired by the moving waters of the Huangpu River, it accommodates a 1,600-seat main auditorium for musicals and a 200-seat intimate black-box theatre for experimental performances.

05 SHL West Bund Grand Theatre
03 SHL West Bund Grand Theatre

The West Bund Dome Art Center, is a flexible event venue housed in a repurposed concrete production factory that formed part of a 100-year-old industrial plant.

Part of the former Shanghai Cement Factory that operated from 1920 to 2009, the Dome sat at the heart of what was the first wet-processed cement production facility in China.

The West Bund Dome Art Center will complete in September and form one of the main event venues for the 2023 SUSAS Biennale. The biannual ‘Shanghai Urban Space Art Season’ began in 2015 with the belief that ‘Culture and Art enriches the city”. The main themed area for the biennale will focus on the West Bund Dome Art Center where domestic and foreign artists, architects and ecologists will be invited to create a series of interactive art installations that celebrate the green sustainable and ecological development of Shanghai.

07 Plankton SHL West Bund Dome Art Center
08 Plankton SHL West Bund Dome Art Center

The transformation of the former factory preserves the original form and structure; adds a new internal framework to support the flexible program; and wraps the volume in a new translucent polycarbonate roof that will glow like a lantern at night.