French architect and Pritzker Prize winner
The architect describes that the ribbon serves to connect the two separate wings of the complex—both to each other and to the site. “The cultural center creates a new landscape by connecting water, sky, and city in a play of iridescent reflections given by this metallic ribbon that spreads over 500 meters,” explains de Portzamparc. Though the site conditions demanded that multiple buildings be created, this mesmerizing design move helps to reconnect the structures as one unified cultural center.
When viewed from above, the ribbon also helps to unite the design language of the building to that of the surrounding area. The scale and color of the ribbon match the pedestrian paths and bridges which extend to the waterfront. Plus, visitors to this area can marvel at the sculptural gestures as the ribbon dips down and meets clusters of columns. If the visitors want to experience the structure up close, they can travel along areas of the ribbon itself to find an incredible view of the lake and the city about 130 feet in the air.
The spaces within the building are designed to represent duality and the balance between yin and yang. Because of this, the performance halls, exhibition areas, and music halls are included in one building and the history museum, city museum, conference center, and other similar education programs are located in the other. Visitors can also find great amenities like shops, cafes, and restaurants throughout.
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Check out how this dynamic metal ribbon creates gravity-defying twists and turns around the new Suzhou Cultural Center.