The Culture & Arts Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects incorporates a contemporary art museum (MICA), an 1,800-seat theatre with supporting facilities and a multipurpose hall. Its organic architectural language is defined by pedestrian routes that weave through the site to connect with neighbouring streets.

Providing views of the adjacent Meixi Lake from the city and giving access to the parks and walking trails on the lake’s Festival Island, this ensemble of three separate cultural institutions creates external courtyards where pedestrian routes intersect for outdoor events and sculpture exhibitions.
The largest and most versatile cultural centre in Hunan province, the Culture & Arts Centre connects directly with its station on Line 2 of Changsha’s new Metro System.

Located on historic trade routes through China, the city of Changsha’s traditions as an important centre of communications continues as one of the country’s leading media hubs with the centre’s Grand Theatre hosting a popular programme of performances and television productions.

Designed for the widest variety of performing arts, the Grand Theatre provides all front-of-house functions in sculpted lobbies, bars and hospitality suites, as well as the necessary ancillary functions including administration offices, rehearsal studios, backstage logistics, wardrobe and dressing rooms.

With eight juxtaposed exhibition galleries totalling 10,000m2 centred around an atrium for large-scale installations and events, the MICA art museum also includes dedicated spaces for community workshops, a lecture theatre, café and museum shop.

The Small Theatre is characterized by its flexibility. This multipurpose hall with a capacity of 500 seats can be transformed to different configurations to accommodate a broad range of functions and performances that span from small plays, fashion shows and music performances to banquets and commercial events.

Totalling 115,000m2 , these three civic institutions are uniquely defined and separate, yet complement each other with different opening times creating vitality throughout the day and evening. The theatre becomes active as the art museum begins to conclude its day-time operations, whilst the variety of events in the smaller theatre ensure it will be used at all times.



Size: 115,000m²

Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)

ZHA Design: Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher

ZHA Project Director: Woody Yao, Simon Yu

ZHA Project Leader: Simon Yu

ZHA Project Associate: Eddie Can

ZHA Project Team: Zhenjiang Guo, Charles Kwan, Fei Wang, Pravin Ghosh, Neil Sansom, Jinqi Huang, Thomas Jensen, Justin Kelly, Wandy Mulia, Uli Schifferdecker, David Chen, Adrian Aguirre Herrera, Aurora Santana, Koren Sin, Johanna Huang, Yifan Zhang, Collin Spelts, Wei You, Fei Liang, Adam Fingrut, Yitzhak Samun

ZHA Schematic Design: Zhenjiang Guo, Charles Kwan, Jinqi Huang

ZHA Museum Design: Tariq Khayyat, Kutbuddin Nadiadi, Diego Rossel, Gerry Cruz, Matteo Melioli, Xiaosheng Li, Yuxi Fu, Thomas Jensen, Matthew Johnson, Justin Kelly, Drew Merkle

ZHA Competition Team:

ZHA Project Architect:Tiago Correia

ZHA Project Team: Victor Orive, Fabiano Continanza, Zhenjiang Guo, Danilo Arsic, Ines Fontoura, Rafael González, Alejandro Díaz, Jimena Araiza

ZHA Concept Development: Hannes Schafelner, Philipp Ostermaier, Jakub Klaska, Maren Klasing, Saman Saffarian
Martin Krcha, Maria Tsironi, Spyridon Kaprinis

Local Design Institute: Beijing Architecture Design and Research Institute (South China)


Structural Engineers & Building Services: Beijing Architecture Design and Research Institute (South China)

Facade Engineering: Newtechnic (UK), PFT Construction Consulting (Shanghai)

Specialist Acoustics Consultants to the Architect: Marshall Day Acoustics (Hong Kong & Melbourne)

Project Acoustical Consultants: Zhang Kuisheng Acoustical Design Research Studio (Shanghai)

Theatre Management Consultants: Poly Theatre Engineering Consultancy (Beijing)

Theatre Equipment Consultants: Kunkel Theatre Engineering & Consulting (Beijing)

Museum Management Consultants: Global Cultural Asset Management (New York)

Specialist Lighting Consultants: Brandston Partnership (Shanghai)

Landscape Consultants: Aecom (Shenzhen)

Transport Consultants: Sinclair Knight Merz (Shanghai)

Project Management: Shanghai Gao Shen Consultants (Shanghai)

General Contractor: Beijing Urban Construction Group

Contractors for Façade: Jangho Group, Yuanda Group

Contractors for Interiors: Hongtao Group, Gold Mantis Construction Group, ZFT Holdings

Structural, Facade & Building Services Engineering (Competition Stage): Buro Happold Engineering

Theatre Consultants (Competition Stage): Theatre Projects Consultants

Changsha Meixihu International Culture & Arts Centre by Zaha Hadid in China won the WA Award Cycle 33. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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