Snøhetta has won the design competition for the Xingtai Grand Theater in China. Situated in Xingtai, one of China’s oldest cities, the theater will become a new landmark for the rapidly modernizing city.
As one of the fastest growing cities in the Hebei Province, the spatial layout of Xingtai’s old town is currently struggling to meet the needs of this rapid urban development. The new Grand Theater is the anchor of a new master plan in Central and Southern parts of the Province, forming a new cultural monument.
– Xingtai is looking towards the future while remaining grounded in its rich history, says Snøhetta founder Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. – The Grand Theater is an important cultural initiative to carry forward this city’s legacy and culture.
The design proposal goes beyond the prescribed site boundary, intentionally introducing a larger gesture – the Grand Circle Promenade. This includes not only the Grand Theater, but a science-and technology museum, a circular event plaza and the central eco-park, creating a generous space of interaction and creativity. Physically, functionally and symbolically, this circular gesture unites and connects the different cultural programs in the area; culture, science and nature, marking the area with its unique identity, while simultaneously fostering and instilling harmony to its surrounding environment. This design initiative connects the different cultural and science programs in the vicinity, creating an inclusive public space where visitors from any cultural or social background can enjoy the sights and activities around and inside the Grand Theater, without necessarily being a ticket-holder.