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Floating Iceberg for Culture and Performance

Vertical Culture and Art Station to Connect Public Events

General Information

Project Type
Lead Architect
Yunchao Xu
Design Team
Hongrui Liu, Jiachuan Qi, Tianxiong Li, Jianxuan Chen
Shenzhen Oriental Light Investment Co., Ltd.
Photo credits
Atelier Apeiron

A new urban area is emerging around the Shenzhen North High-Speed Rail Station. The population density of this area is higher than the rest of Shenzhen and will soon surpass Hong Kong’s Central District. The government plans to accommodate numerous civic activities through a public cultural building. On this crowded site, we did not adopt a traditional planning strategy, but organized programs along the section to create a complex floating above the park, as a unique vertical cultural and art station to connect public events.


The ground floor of the building is an open civic square along the riverside, where people can hold outdoor performances and concerts. At the lower level, a super bowl dance center, a grand dome concert hall and a black box theater are composed into one exciting public performance platform. Above the halls, there are classrooms and studio boxes for teaching and training. On the top level, the central light courtyard vertically connects the interior space with the exterior garden, which is an urban balcony overlooking the city and a terraced roof for people to sit and relax.


As summer in Shenzhen usually lasts more than seven months every year, we chose two approaches to achieve building shading and cooling in a sustainable way. The exterior of the building is coated with a diffusely reflective breathable film to reduce sun radiation 45%. The porous structure helps the building breathe fresh air without HVAC supplies most of the time. During the day, the performance center is a vertical green campus that provides a relaxing landscape for the surrounding skyscrapers. At night, the building glows slightly and becomes a floating iceberg cooling the city.