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After only two years of planning and construction, the Grand Theatre and a hotel complex have been completed in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. The new buildings are located in an extensive area of large former porcelain factory buildings, which is being transformed into a mixed-use quarter named Ceramic Art Avenue Taoxichuan. A third project, the Academy of Music, is due to complete later this year.

The three projects, designed by David Chipperfield Architects, are part of a masterplan also developed by the practice. This plan envisages transforming the eastern part of the area, with its factory buildings dating from the mid-twentieth century, into a campus for the performing arts. The existing buildings are preserved, restored and converted while new buildings are also added.

The Grand Theatre marks the northern end of the central boulevard. This new brick structure makes reference to the traditional materiality of the historic industrial buildings and houses both a classical opera house and a black box theatre. A spacious foyer, whose roof is supported by mushroom columns, links the two venues and opens the building up to the surroundings. The hotel complex is in the centre of the district and consists of four separate buildings. It accommodates a four-star hotel, a five-star hotel and an events venue with a light steel structure connecting them at ground level to create communal outdoor areas.

Image © Fangfang Tian