In Changsha, southern China, the design of the largest cultural and artistic center Meixihu, by the Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) office, features three white sculptural structures, formed of organic curves of enormous size and housing a museum of contemporary art and two theaters. Seen from above, they look like flower petals.
Standing out against the misty city landscape, these three distinct structures form the Changsha Meixihu International Culture and Arts Center in China, recently completed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Spanning 115,000 m², it comprises on its own scale a contemporary art museum (MICA), a large theater and another small, each with a slightly different aesthetic. With eight juxtaposed exhibition galleries, totaling 10,000 m2 around an atrium for important installations and events, the MICA, open to the public since November 30, 2019, also hosts spaces reserved for community workshops, a conference room, a cafe and a shop. Next to the museum is the large 1,800-seat theater, a multi-purpose site with a wooden interior and a cream-colored ceiling that swirls upwards like a sandstorm. In the third building, flexibility is also essential in the design of the small theater – its 500-seat hall can be transformed into several configurations to accommodate plays, fashion shows, musical performances, banquets and commercial events. The three civic institutions complement each other with different opening hours throughout the day, as does their organic architecture signified by fluidity and curves, a unique design by Zaha Hadid Architects.