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BDP Wins Nanhai Cultural Centre Competition

BDP has won an international design competition for a new cultural centre for Nanhai Lihu New Town 10km south of Foshan in south east China.

The centre is a landmark project for the first phase of Lihu New Town, and is located on an island on the Lishui River. The town is designed around the ‘Dream Water Town’ brand to attract international attention and world class status.

As well as the cultural centre the scope of competition also includes a surrounding central park and two landscape bridges to connect the river island to the mainland. The total site area is 9 hectares.

Our winning design responds to the ecology of the site and the north/south green axis and a west/east city axis. It focuses on people centred activities embodying humanistic design, improving accessibility, and building a more liveable city.

A cultural village comprising an exhibition hall, theatre, youth and library buildings is located at the west of the island arranged around a traditional courtyard and covered with a dramatic oversailing roof. The green axis runs through the centre of the courtyard and links to an arrival plaza which creates a vibrant accessible area from all parts of the island. The plaza can be used for public events or in conjunction with the exhibition hall. At the eastern end is an outdoor amphitheatre with a dramatic stage area and projection screen. This creates an iconic marker close to the existing city and acts as a counterpoint and balance to the cultural village. Walkways link the buildings at strategic points around the island and connect them to the river.