The Meixihu International Culture & Arts Centre in Changsha is a showpiece of design mastery
Queen of architecture Zaha Hadid passed away in 2016, but her designs live on around the world, including the Changsha Meixihu International Culture & Arts Centre, which opened recently. This new cultural landmark for Changsha—three gigantic hibiscus-shaped buildings that frame Lake Meixi—heralds in a new era of cultural development in the municipality.
The centre houses a contemporary art museum named MICA, an 1,800-seat theatre and a multi-purpose venue. Or visitors can climb the observatory tower to take in the lake views.
It is the largest arts and cultural complex in Hunan province, aspiring to be the nation’s foremost artistic hub. The hibiscus shapes aim to celebrate Hunan, known as the hibiscus state, while connecting the complex to its natural surroundings.Huge challenges had to be overcome. It took a thousand rounds of aerial assembly to shape 22,000 tons of steel into petals. The irregularly shaped aluminum and glass walls breathe life into the cloud-like structures.
The theatre, which was first to open in 2017, was designed to stage all types of performances. The multi-layered structure, complemented by curves that fluidly extend throughout the space, is a perfect showcase of Hadid’s design mastery. The MICA has eight exhibition halls in irregular formations, totalling more than 100,000 square feet. The big hall is designed for major installations or events. The multi-purpose venue is flexible, equipped with 500 seats that can be configured according to the specific requirements of different performances.
This hibiscus is in bloom day and night.