“The new Shanghai Cultural Square is an extraordinary work of art. Rather than a mere theatre space for patrons or a workspace for performers, it is a purposeful expression of ideas about constructed spaces and human interactions within them, and urban environments and the people who inhabit them. It reflects the inclusive, forward-looking and dynamic image of Shanghai city.”
-Mr. Le Sheng Li, General Commander, Shanghai Culture Plaza Company, Ltd.
STUDIOS, in association with Team 7 International, designed the interiors for the public spaces within this new three-level, 1,800-seat theater, including the grand lobby, VIP areas, main auditorium, café, and lounges.
The theater, which hosts touring musicals and Broadway shows, offers a luxurious yet less formal atmosphere than its opera house and symphony hall counterparts. The design team worked closely with local architects and theater consultants to create a space that fosters more of a connection between the audience members and performers than the traditional Chinese venue, while still recognizing the differences in Chinese and Western cultural expectations. The scale of the hall has been reduced to create a more intimate environment; separate entrances, lounges, and seating areas are reserved for VIP patrons.
The main auditorium is designed to be functional and flexible to accommodate the requirements of a variety of traveling shows, as well as to strike a balance between natural and electronic acoustics. The below-grade building forms a pavilion within a park setting, creating special challenges in defining paths of egress and drawing patrons into the space.