STUDIOS won an international design competition for this new campus. The project includes a 1,200 seat-theater, 300 seat-recital hall, Shanghai Dance School for 1,500 students, as well as the Shanghai Ballet’s and Dance Troupe’s headquarters and rehearsal studios. The design proposal was selected among six international architectural firms.
The project creates a significant new civic space and provides a welcome landscape respite from the busy highway and thoroughfare that flank the site. The architectural form of the new campus is inspired by the spirit of dance; the interplay between the gently curving buildings is thoughtfully choreographed to create a sense of flow and kinetic energy. Nearly half of the program is situated below grade, allowing for significant open space on the site; a collection of courtyards, curving paths, fountains and arcing tree rows flow to a central plaza. Open wells along the building perimeters feed daylight and fresh air into the underground areas, such as the rehearsal studios, dining, a gymnasium and support spaces. The project also folds several small historic buildings into the plan, as well as a mid-rise dormitory building along the western edge of the site.
Key sustainable concepts include storm water collection, maximized natural drainage run-off to landscape areas, and water conservation including drought-tolerant planting, efficient irrigation systems, high efficiency plumbing systems. Natural ventilation, high-performance building skins, and cool roofs help to reduce energy requirements. The main material, terra cota, was locally manufactured. The theater building features rooftop PV panels, and will attain a 3-Star environmental rating, which is the highest possible in the Chinese system similar to LEED.