ultramarinus – beyond the sea

POLY GRAND THEATRE (上海保利大劇院), Shanghai, China

Located in Jiading District, a suburb northwest of central Shanghai, Poly Grand Theatre stands proudly by Yuanxiang Lake.  The 330 x 330 x 113 foot theatre box is wrapped in a transparent skin of glass, with tunnels and footbridges puncturing the simple geometry to establish bold visual statements on its elevations.  This simple but striking architecture is one of the newest completed projects by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

It took us quite some time taking the metro to reach Jiading.  Once arrived at the closest metro station, we hopped on a taxi to reach the theatre.  Situated right by Yuanxiang Lake, the theatre stood out as a centerpiece in the new town among other construction sites and new condominiums.  We took our time to walk around the building, hoping to see the lighting effect after dusk.  It was about 5:30pm when we got there.  After a short tour of the building exterior spaces, we decided to wait on an observation bridge in front of the theatre.  We waited for about an hour until 7pm, then we figured out that the lights might not come on as there didn’t seem to have any performance happening that evening despite it was a Saturday night.  We returned to the theatre entrance and went straight to the brightly lit ticket entrance.  The staff inside confirmed our worry.  Since there was no scheduled performance that night, the lighting effect would not be turned on.

We left the theatre disappointingly.  There was no taxi around.  In fact we could hardly see any passing pedestrians in this new town.  We walked for about half an hour to reach the closest metro station, passing by a few newly constructed shopping centres along the way.  We were tired and hungry.  A big hearty meal would be the only way to console our disappointment.

DSC_1317Poly Grand Theatre was a clean box with cheese-like holes.

DSC_1320A new tower stood right behind the theatre.

DSC_1324The grotto-like space can be served as semi-outdoor performance space.

DSC_1326Base trim of the facade curtain wall.

DSC_1333Elevated bridges and platforms provide an important exterior common space.

DSC_1346Front elevation and reflection of Poly Grand Theatre.

DSC_1367Occasional passerby provided a sense of scale.

DSC_1377Landscape features and observation bridge in front of the theatre.

DSC_1382Walking up the observation bridge.

DSC_1395 1The end of the observation bridge provided a great spot to admire the architecture of the theatre.

DSC_1398Observation bridge at night.

DSC_1410The lighting effect didn’t come on because there was no scheduled performance during our visit.

DSC_1417Street elevation of the theatre.

DSC_1426New shopping centre on our way walking back to the metro station.



Read other posts on Shanghai 2016:
0.0 SHANGHAI, 2016
1.0 SUZHOU MUSEUM, Suzhou, China
3.0 LION GROVE GARDEN, Suzhou, China
5.0 ROCKBUND, Shanghai, China
6.0 M50, Shanghai, China
7.0 1933 SHANGHAI (老場坊) , Shanghai, China
8.0 POLY GRAND THEATRE (上海保利大劇院), Shanghai, China
10.0 POWER STATION OF ART, Shanghai, China
11.0 LONG MUSEUM (龍美術館), West Bund, Shanghai, China
12.0 THE BUND (外灘) AT NIGHT, Shanghai, China
13.0 TIANZIFANG (田子坊), Shanghai, China
15.0 LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China

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