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The Han Show Theatre

Appearing like a giant traditional Chinese lantern from the distance, The Han Show Theatre has been designed by Stufish Entertainment Architects to house a spectacular new water show by theatre director Franco Dragone.

The Han Show Theatre


January 12th, 2015


Italian-Belgian theatre director Franco Dragone is perhaps best known for his work with Cirque du Soleil and Celine Dion. Now, his new water show will be taking up residence in a building specially conceived for such an extravaganza.


Designed by Stufish Entertainment Architects, The Han Show Theatre is situated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, and forms the anchor for one end of a major development by Beijing-based development group Dalian Wanda.


With this project, the architects wanted to created an instantly recognisable Chinese symbol that would provide an aesthetic cladding to the theatre’s auditorium and fly tower. The decision was thus made to have the structure take the shape of the traditional Chinese lantern. The lantern form itself is designed to work on many different scales. From the distance across Donghu Lake, the building can be read symbolically; up close one can observe that the lantern surface is created from thousands of disks each of which is lit both inside and out; and inside the theatre lobby, the glazed roof of the atrium looks up into the 56-metre high lantern structure.


The façade is composed of eight ‘wheels’ with hundreds of spokes that link it to the main drum of the theatre. The wheels also support a mesh with 25,000 steel disks, the detailing of which was inspired by the ancient Chinese bi disk. The bi disk is a symbol of skyward ambition and the heavens, and is also a symbol of what audiences will discover in Franco Dragone’s show.


On the technological front, the theatre itself will feature audience seats that move to reveal an 8-metre deep swimming pool and will have the largest evermoveable LED screens.


Stufish Entertainment Architects

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