Benedetta Tagliabue’s studio Miralles Tagliabue EMBT won the international competition to design the Shenzhen Conservatory of Music. It is enlisted under the city’s 10 new era cultural structures. Responding to its site and context, the complex is an icon of symbolism of amalgamation in music and art with nature. (sofia lekka angelopoulou, 2021)

PROJECT DETAILS: (EMBT, 2021)

  • Client / Organizer: Engineering Design Management Centre of Bureau of Public Works of Shenzhen Municipality
  • Co-organizer: Shenzhen Position Spatial Culture Development Co., Ltd.
  • Architect: Benedetta Tagliabue – Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
  • Project director:Nazaret Busto Rodríguez – Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
  • Design team: Julia de Ory Mallavia, Gabrielle Rotelli, Dimitris Stefanakis, Jaime Ruíz Fernández, María Borrell Vilanova, Guillermo Sotelo Santos, Pietro Borzacca, Ana Maria Lazar.
  • Managing team: Zhuoran Zhao, Daniel Rosselló, Arturo Mc Clean, Roger Pérez
  • Area: 73.777 m2 plot area, 129.700 m2 building (floor area)
  • Typology: Cultural facility: urban design, public spaces, architecture (campus master planning and individual building design)
  • Program: Campus buildings: teaching complex, experimental practice studio, library, sports complex building, dining hall, administrative office, faculty dormitory, college system. Performance buildings: theatre (700-seats), Concert hall (500-seats), Rehearsal hall (200-seats). Basement: parking and equipment.
  • Local Architects: HYP Arch Design – Zhao Kai, Hu Haitao, York Duan, Chen Min.
  • Acoustic Engineering: Arup – Tateo Nakajima, Chris Mercer, Richard Bunn, Zoe Megins-Davies.
  • Energetic Consultant:Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH
  • Renders: Fancy
  • Video:Undr – Xavi Parcerisas
  • Model: Shenzhen QZY Models Design
Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet1
Project Overview_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT

The proposal encompasses numerous functions integrated within various buildings, which are a part of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Campus, Shenzhen. It’s based on a unique educational model reflecting the relationship with nature and the belief in the ability of architecture to motivate creativity in the university community. 

The design strategy adopted features the environmental potential of the site by creating an exchange between the natural environmentwith water and the green. The project focuses on enhancing creative education through principles of connection and serenity. 

Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet2
Project Bird’s eye view_© Miralles Tagliabue EMBT

A fusion with the surrounding nature-scape creates a boundary-less blend between the internal and external spaces. The theatre emerges as the focal point and places the campus from distant viewpoints, integrating it with the city and public. The composition of the various music complexes provide continuity between the proposal and the University Campus.

‘Our masterplan offers a well-balanced dialogue with its built and natural surroundings,’ says the barcelona and shanghai-based studio (EMBT, 2021). ‘It is responsive to both edge conditions with nature, one being green towards the university park and the other edge condition being water towards the shenxian hill reservoir. a dialogue with water and green in a fantastic strategic position, the new complex will be a serene environment that is characterized by the strong presence of the main theater, which announces the campus from the distance.’ (EMBT, 2021) (sofia lekka angelopoulou, 2021)

Located at the prime position of Shenzhen Longgang International University Campus, the Conservatory acts as a Gateway to the University Campus and Community. This cultural landmark is designed to house an innovative international community in a globally recognized educational environment. ‘The strategy of the complex is based on a balanced dialogue with the natural environment, highlighting as a priority the conservation of the environmental value of the site’ said Miralles Tagliabue EMBT (EMBT, 2021). ‘This dialogue, with water and green, creates a new way of understanding learning: a place of calm and connection with nature for education and creativity.’

The master plan showcases various performance-oriented typologies like the 700-seat theatre, 500-seat concert hall, 200-seat rehearsal hall, with basement, parking and equipment. Along with the highlighted central theatre, this 129,700-square-metre facility provides spaces like a teaching complex, experimental practice studio, library, sports complex building, dining hall, administrative office, faculty dormitory, college system. 

Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet3
Masterplan_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT 

‘Our proposal introduces a fundamental spatial innovation at its heart,’ notes Miralles Tagliabue EMBT. ‘the performance auditoriums program, composed by a rehearsal hall of 200 seats, a concert hall of 500 seats and theatre of 700 seats, will be arranged in an axis that will act as the main internal circulation spine, and the circulation of the campus will be around them so that learning and performing spaces are intimately connected.’ (EMBT, 2021) (sofia lekka angelopoulou, 2021)

The central axis of the facility organizes the placement of buildings for artistic performance like the rehearsal room, concert hall, and theatre. At the same time, the welcoming and green internal squares vertically connect the learning spaces with those for musical interpretation. These internal gardens are an extension of the public space and act as a connecting internal street. 

The building is brought to life by its function with all parts interconnected allowing a balanced flow of creative education in a shared space. The library, the students’ dorms, and the administration are transversely connected throughout the complex. This complex enhances a belief system in the capabilities of architectural space to promote creativity in a community. 

Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet4
Main Plaza_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT 

‘It will create an architectural landmark to signify the Conservatory of Music’s ambition to become an international and renowned institution in the teaching of music and art,’ continued Miralles Tagliabue EMBT (EMBT, 2021). ‘The proposal will keep a pleasant sense of unity and coherence while creating variety in the buildings to signify its uses and encompass the rich artistic atmosphere held within’

Choice of materials and design strategies were also derived keeping in mind the sustainability attributes. The studio carried out an extensive study that resulted in the organic masterplan orientation. Natural, vernacular and sustainable materials were chosen for construction and facades and elevations were designed incorporating wood and ceramics. ’The result is an organic architecture and facades of sustainable materials with compositions that resemble some musical scores,’ added the architects. (EMBT, 2021). 

Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet5
Campus Entrance_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT 
Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet6
Model view _©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet7
Site location _©Miralles Tagliabue
Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet8
Masterplan and Ground floor plan_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet9
Section_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet10
Facade section _©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
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Facade elevated road_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
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Facade main road_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet13
General View Reservoir_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet14
Interior of the Sports Complex_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
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Theatre entrance_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
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Teaching Foyer_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT
Competition to Design Shenzhen's Conservatory of Music won by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT - Sheet17
Theatre Interior_©Miralles Tagliabue EMBT

References

Christele Harrouk. (2021, March 26). ArchDaily. Retrieved from Miralles Tagliabue EMBT Wins Competition to Design Shenzhen’s Conservatory of Music: https://www.archdaily.com/959143/miralles-tagliabue-embt-wins-competition-to-design-shenzhens-conservatory-of-music

EMBT, M. T. (2021). MIRALLES TAGLIABUE EMBT. Retrieved from SHENZHEN CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC: http://www.mirallestagliabue.com/project/shenzhen-conservatory-of-music/ 

sofia lekka angelopoulou. (2021, March 25). Designboom. Retrieved from miralles tagliabue EMBT wins competition to design the shenzhen conservatory of music: https://www.designboom.com/architecture/miralles-tagliabue-embt-wins-competition-shenzhen-conservatory-music-03-25-2021/

WA Contents. (2021, March 2021). World Architecture. Retrieved from Miralles Tagliabue EMBT Wins Competition To Design Conservatory Of Music In Shenzhen: https://worldarchitecture.org/architecture-news/evzfv/miralles-tagliabue-embt-wins-competition-to-design-conservatory-of-music-in-shenzhen.html

All images: © Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, Renders by: Fancy

Author

Designing for change has always been an aspiration. This is me doing the same through words. My interests in the field include Research, Sustainable strategies and Urban design and hope to work on similar lines in the future.

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