Green Heart Grand Theatre

Beijing, China
Containers of Culture

Conceived as three lanterns for the performing arts, the Theatre complex anchors the new Beijing Tongzhou Green Heart cultural district. Sited on the banks of the UNESCO World Heritage Grand Canal the project reflects the importance of Tongzhou as a commercial shipping and storage hub by replacing the traditional storage houses with three large storage containers for culture – opera, drama and music.

The three volumes are unified by a single podium combining technical and support functions. Accessed from all directions by splayed steps, the podium extends the theater lobbies to the exterior to create a more intimate relationship between the interior and the surrounding landscape and grand canal.


Green Heart Opera2
Regional Reversal

The Tongzhou District of Beijing was an important point of trade along the Grand Canal. As goods came from the south into Beijing they were sorted and stored in large storehouse structures ready to be moved when required in the city. In a regional reversal new ‘containers of culture’ draw citizens from the city to a new cultural destination in nature on the banks of the canal.

Grand Canal

The Grand Theatre complex sits on the banks of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Grand Canal. The Grand Canal is the longest and oldest canal in the world dating back to 5th century BC, and connected Hangzhou in the south to Beijing in the north. It was the primary route for goods throughout China being brought into China’s capital Beijing. As part of the landscape design and site planning the remains of early canal construction has had to be coordinated around the propose to protect the heritage of the site.

Project Team

Chris Hardie
Chao Chen
Simon Persson
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