French architect and Pritzker Prize winner Christian de Portzamparc has just completed a new project called the Suzhou Bay Cultural Center. Designed for the waterfront of China's Lake Tai, the new building is wrapped in an impressive metal ribbon that twists and turns in gravity-defying motions reminiscent of a roller coaster.
The architect describes that the ribbon serves to connect the two separate wings of the complex—both to each other and to the site. “The cultural center creates a new landscape by connecting water, sky, and city in a play of iridescent reflections given by this metallic ribbon that spreads over 500 meters,” explains de Portzamparc. Though the site conditions demanded that multiple buildings be created, this mesmerizing design move helps to reconnect the structures as one unified cultural center.
When viewed from above, the ribbon also helps to unite the design language of the building to that of the surrounding area. The scale and color of the ribbon match the pedestrian paths and bridges which extend to the waterfront. Plus, visitors to this area can marvel at the sculptural gestures as the ribbon dips down and meets clusters of columns. If the visitors want to experience the structure up close, they can travel along areas of the ribbon itself to find an incredible view of the lake and the city about 130 feet in the air.
The spaces within the building are designed to represent duality and the balance between yin and yang. Because of this, the performance halls, exhibition areas, and music halls are included in one building and the history museum, city museum, conference center, and other similar education programs are located in the other. Visitors can also find great amenities like shops, cafes, and restaurants throughout.
Keep scrolling to find incredible photographs of the Suzhou Bay Cultural Center by Shao Feng Architectural Photography.