Steven Chilton Architects has completed a theater in Guangzhou. The architecture is defined by the city’s historical connection to silk, with patterns representing contemporary tattoo culture applied to the exterior cladding. The ambitious project was loudly named the Sunac Grand Theatre.
The theater is at the center of a large mixed-use complex conceived to attract visitors and tourists to a previously underdeveloped area. The client, the Sunac Group development company, wanted a design that impressed residents and visitors, so he set the architect the challenge: to achieve a strong visual identity.
Darker drawings inspired by tattoo art have been applied to the red veneer, and a series of gold animal figures, characters from the local myth “100 Birds Paying Tribute to the Phoenix,” has been added on top of the base layer. “Tattoo culture has recently become a respected art genre promoted by the younger generation. This has sparked a new interest in Chinese mythology, rich in expressive symbols.”