Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre
by Zaha Hadid Architects


Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects have unveiled their design for the largest cultural building in China, to be located in Chengdu in Sichuan Province.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

The Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre will comprise three auditoria, an art museum, exhibition space and conference centre, plus restaurants, bars and shops.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

The facade will be covered in criss-crossing louvres to provide shade from the sun.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

The following information is from Zaha Hadid Architects:


The result of an international design competition in 2007, Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre will be a new cultural destination for Sichuan Province and will provide Chengdu with an unprecedented collection of world-class arts, performance, leisure, and congress venues.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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CCAC will be a regional art and music centre of international standing. CCAC accommodates three auditoria, an art museum, an exhibition centre, a conference centre, a learning centre, bars, restaurants and shops. The largest of the three halls, a multifunctional theatre, seats up to 2,000 people.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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The second hall caters for lyrical theatre and music events, with a seating arrangement of up to 870 people. The third auditorium will be used as a music hall. Designed for natural acoustic, this hall will provide space for an audience of up to 1,000.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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The conference centre comprises 8,000m2, which can be separated into 16 equal and independent accessible conference rooms. A flexible 10,000m2 exhibition centre is located at the main entrance level.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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The art museum comprises approximately 15,000m2 net exhibition area which is located below the roof and will take advantage of natural lit exhibition spaces. Our design aims to resolve the complexities of the programme, while combining spatial clarity with the design of a unique and iconic structure.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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The undulating building geometry suggests a rolling landscape, inspired by the topography of Sichuan Province. CCAC’s elongated design will contrast the vertical tower structures surrounding the site. Its soaring aerodynamic shape and Yin Yang like shape evokes traditional Chinese symbols.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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The new building is characterised by its aerodynamic geometry and flexible performance spaces. Adjacent to CCAC, extensive new landscaping is designed to strengthen the links with the urban fabric. The design of the space adjacent to the building is an integral part of the architectural design.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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Our proposal for the 140,000m2 landscape area complements the exhibition building and creates a welcoming public realm within a diffuse and peripheral surrounding. Our proposal for the new Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre is a unique structure with a strong sense of identity and character. From afar, it is highly identifiable and offers a strong image and orientation.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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Built in close proximity to Chengdu City Centre, this scheme for a 200,000m2 performance, arts, and congress complex will consolidate Chengdu’s reputation as a cultural destination while providing an iconic architectural image for the city.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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The architectural concept has been developed in response to articulate the client’s programme and the urban parameters. CCAC thereby forms a graceful, iconic landmark for the city of Chengdu.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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The concept for CCAC is to use the most advanced architectural and engineering technologies in response to the brief, to create a visually striking new landmark that will act as a gateway to the city. With its informal atmosphere and unrivalled views out across the landscaping, CCAC should become one of the city’s great social spaces as well as a regional cultural centre of international standing.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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Zaha Hadid Architects design concept originates from an understanding of the urban dynamics and the client’s programme. Rising to a height of 70 meters, the building’s undulating form creates its own distinctive profile within an emerging cluster of tall buildings. In contrast to the neighbouring high-rise buildings, the 470m elongated structure extends almost parallel to Tianfu Avenue.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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Metaphorically speaking, the building’s elongated, curvilinear shape appears like a rolling landscape, inspired by the topography of Sichuan Province. The undulating shell has been designed in response to articulate the programme. Geometrically speaking, the shape has been derived by twisting a rectangular tube, creating three distinct programmatic areas. The lowest part, the centre of the building, accommodates the main atrium. The head to the north accommodates all performance and art related areas. The tail to the south accommodates the conference centre and the exhibition centre.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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Adjacent to the building, over 60 per cent of the remaining site is given over to parkland; the informal planting of mature trees creates the impression of a wooded environment adjacent to the eastern site border. The structure is set back from the street to create a generous public realm. The building complements the opposite Aquarium, creating an urban plaza with a central fountain.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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A water amphitheatre forms the focus of the site northern edge. The use of an orthogonal, repetitive plan and structural system for the back of house areas will help for the use of standardized components and to simplify the construction process.

Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

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The façade has been designed to articulate the programme and to emphasize the iconic structure. The shingle-like glazing will create an ever changing appearance once moving around the building. The gradually changing louvers are designed to maximize the views and to minimize solar gain.

See also:


Evelyn Grace Academy
by Zaha Hadid
King Abdullah II House of Culture & Art by Zaha Hadid Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum by Zaha Hadid

Posted on Monday November 15th 2010 at 2:12 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • rrr

    each time i hear of 'Zaha Hadid unveils new design for…', i am sure to know how it is going to look like

    • gal

      In my opinion, the more the merrier! the buildings may seem similar but the form work is always intriguing. Schumacher along with other individuals within zaha are pushing form uniike any other firm. Zaha will be the first to create such forms at such a monumental scale. That is if she has not already. cant wait.

  • Dickie Smabers

    I love Zaha Hadid; you never know what she will come up with, but it's always very contextual; ying and yang! In China! Whoohoo


      I'm gonna dedicate the rest of my life to the research of "do you see what I see". Fascinating



  • m

    Zaha Hadid proves there is such thing as generic super-spectacular architecture.

    This one does have the play between the strict formal language of the landscaping and the smooth language of the building as unique element, but in first impression it just looks like another twin sister in the Hadid-family.

    A characterful family nonetheless, but uniform and depending a tad too much on novelty factor.

    • agr

      Wow, this competition was so long ago. Before the Beijing Olympics and the Sichuan earthquake. Her office won 2 of the 5 things the Chengdu jury was judging on. There were two other firms invited; Neri & Hu won 2 of the remaining 5 and MVRDV won 1. Ultimately of those 2 that she was selected for, one was linked at the time to a sort of 'name brand/visual notoriety/global recognition' if you will, and if memory serves me correct, the developer used that as the tie-breaker to select her office.

  • Hovis231

    Picture 1 just makes me want to pick it up and start grating. I think I'll start with carrots. Then a little cheddar. I'm hoping that round the back there are some finer holes that I can use on my nutmeg.

  • Thanks for the DRAWINGS! Every time I see a Zaha design I'm always craving some drawings. There are some interesting moments in the project that really come through in the sections.

  • andie

    chengdu is modern now!

  • Interesting someone likened it to a cheese grater!

    I love her work.

    This project will be over-the-top expensive!

  • Sean

    Somehow this looks more Santiago Calatrava to me than Zaha Hadid, but it's innovative. I bet the finished product will be better than the renders.

  • Fränzu

    MOMeMA by UNStudio, anyone?

    • C3PO

      Momema + Theatre Spijkenisse

  • fengxie

    For someone from Chengdu, it is really not easy to see these kind of over the top context-contrasting form yet over the top easy to make got dropped in the middle of Chengdu. I always feel Zaha is someone who's too predictable.

  • priscania

    this is really not zaha hadid. where is the sketch????!!!!!!

  • RHK

    no view from inside and of the interior .. again.. so bad in scale.. plasticky.. software depended a bit too much – again… out of context except in theory – again…desperation for novelty leadin to same stale style – again!!

    the only new thing is tis post bout zaha bldgs is the drawings – atleast dey have a plan, though orthogonal n unlike the form, still dey have a plan.. great!!

    n i like the veg/cheese grater comments :))

  • nischal

    o, i had see this one before on dezeen:

  • tsktsk

    Hi-tech envelop for run of the mill architecture?

  • charles

    very elegant and dynamic for a 200,000m2 programme. well done zaha.

  • klan

    Beautiful ladyshave!

  • karl koch

    These sections are very telling:

    A standard building with boring spaces wrapped in a hideous (and presumably hideousely expensive) glitter-facade. What happend to Architecture that is made from the inside?

  • mohammed

    i think this one is a bit different from what zaha had done before

  • James

    How many mausoleums for purity can this lady really build?

  • Adi

    Flying screwdriver man is the work of tomorrow …

  • I like the use of texture but it really does resemble a razor blade by Gillette.

  • allthatsparkles

    this looks like a glorified foot file… you know the ones you use to scrape hard skin off your feet?

  • She always gives me amazing inspiration!

  • I like her work in general but I see NO link with the surroundings. These HUGE expanses of I guess tiles, or concrete, what ever but nothing green. Its a bit like a big Whale landed too far from the sea. This building is much about sea to me but not Szechuan for sure, unless she refers to the China seafood restaurants. Anyway unless I could do better alone I won't say it bad all the way. But then she probably has man lemons to squeeze to get the ultimate reduced architectural sauce.

    • agr

      The irony in your 'whale' comment…is that the building in the opposing block (I can't recall if it was built or just proposed) looks like a stingray. Perhaps that is the link?

  • mikki

    this was copied from unstudio's momema!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ahdam

    Museum of Middle Eastern Modern Art….found your twin!
    Chengdu Contemporary Art Centre

  • mic v

    It will be a disaster to the city. Like a swelling, conspicuous but no good.

  • niko

    how come only starchitects get's to play with these type of programmes? Over and over agan you see famous architects doing these 'objects'

  • victor

    sweet as chocolate…

  • JuiceMajor

    You know I am always there when it comes to Hadid's work but I must admit, I am a little disappointed by this one.

    Just not as elegant!

  • niels

    …ladyshave, cheese grater, foot file, optical mouse, dustbuster etc.
    doesn't this point out that all of these products, wether it's a vacuum cleaner or a building, are designed in the same way, by the same kind of people, all using the same software? This so called 'organic design' has absolutely no connection with the laws of nature whatsoever, let alone refference to the actual function and meaning of the product designed.

  • claudia

    sections and elevations look very promising – would be good to see some interior views…

  • aaa

    it's a snake mutant with two heads :)

  • hugo v.H.

    i like that at least with this Zaha project the images and drawings correspond. checking the sections, it seems that chengdu will have some amazing interior spaces.

  • ijl

    I'd wish she'd stop designing dildos and concentrate on designing actual responsible buildings both in a conceptual meaning and an economical. She and other formalistic architects are giving parametric designers a very very bad name.

  • Chengdulander

    As a person from Chengdu, how I wish Liu Jiakun could have this project, it should be better than Hadid's, not because her poor design ability, but the basic understanding of chengdu's native culture.

  • jretief11

    ……if a rattlesnake and a gillette had a baby……..

    The latest in a string of really embarrassing propositions.

    Although, it does prove a very successful monument to the limited imaginations of those who commission such unnerving objects, drawn-in no doubt by the celebrity lure behind the brand. i feel very sorry for the citizens which this monstrosity is inflicted upon.

  • sandeep arora

    Till I read the description, I kept thinking of a reptile being the inspiration

  • I like Zaha Hadid’s audacious standard of design, that involves curves and hyperbolas in unimaginable perspectives. But as I have mentioned, it’s a standard. Nothing fresh.

    What’s more, her design fools laymen into believing that her structures exude Postmodernism. True, it does, but it is a very mainstream approach. To add on, her designs make no mention about contexts, and it just seems like the structure is imposing itself like a “futuristic asteroid”.

    Zaha has an amazing touch in relation to Futurism, but it leaves my mind thinking, can she do more? And yes, too many computer artworks.

  • The real neat thing is that when one experiments with such curvaceous designs as these, you can actually give off anything as a concept to support it.