Wujin District People’s Government
The project at Phoenix Valley is a government funded and operated Theatre, Film and Arts Centre. Run as an invited design competition in late 2009, the brief proposed strict zoning for the site which directed all designers to divert an axial canal in a blunt right hand turn across the front of a basic rectangular building footprint, and left open the option of a square to the front or
studio505’s winning scheme broke this zoning and instead proposed that the canal was drawn into the site, becoming the active element that has carved out the valley from a green roofed mountain mass. This gesture created a protected internal courtyard space, an internalised yet outdoor central gathering space secure from busy roads, allowing a public space, connection to a public screen and access to all the parts of the centre from within the valley.
The Phoenix Valley Youth Palace is a deeply cultural project. Located in Wujin, China, Phoenix Valley neighbours the historic area of Yancheng City. Built approximately 2500 years ago, Yancheng City is characterized by its three concentric moats that circle the site. Over 1000 pieces of rare cultural relics have been unearthed from Yancheng Site, and to this day it remains a popular and historically important tourist destination to the Jiangsu Province.
Also native to the Jiangsu Province, where Phoenix Valley lies is the art of random stitch embroidery. Created in the 1920’s by Madam Yang Shouyu, random stitch embroidery
innovated on the traditional method of plane embroidery, which is featured of “closely needled parallel lines”, by adopting stitch replacing brush and ink, and using threads as colors, which perfectly combines the principles of Western paintings with Chinese embroidery.
Phoenix Valley is an amalgamation of these traditions. It is a project that is deeply connected to the area, its society, its culture and its people.
studio505’s proposal to redirect an exisiting canal through the site helped to develop the form of the building. The canal cuts through the site, creating an internal space for protection and focus away from the road, and allowing the building to announce her presence as both a single urban figure, and also as a series of independent functional entities within the complex.
studio505 embedded technologies, thinking and design processes developed and tested in the much smaller, award winning Pixel building, in Melbourne. This comprises Green Roof technology, Built-In Photovoltaic (BIPV) and Solar Thermal arrays, Natural Ventilation, LED lighting and sophisticated water management
systems including thermal heat exchangers with the canal waters flowing through and beneath the project. Phoenix Valley achieved the maximum 3 stars under the China Three Star, equivalent to 5/6 stars under the LEAD Gold system.
The Grand Theatre of Phoenix Valley is one of the key elements to the precinct and the public showpiece of the institution. With a capacity of 1000 patrons, the Grand Theatre is a B Class traditional staging theatre, with full below stage decks, and flytowers over 40m high to enable a full Chinese Opera to be staged, or adapted back to form a cinema or conference auditorium space.
Upon entering the main theatre auditorium
from either level (stalls or balcony), the inspiration of the origami cicada is revealed in the massive but subtly fluid theatre walls and ceiling elements, which fold and flow around the internal shell. These walls form the acoustic and visual surface of the theatre interior, and led strip lights sewn into the fabric bring an incredible clarity to the subtly curving and natural forms.