The ‘Wuhan Central Cultural District’ development is the first stage of a city-wide programme to provide waterway connections between Wuhan’s six lakes. The Cultural District includes a programme of offices, residential, cultural buildings and shopping malls along a 2km canal-side site. The development is anchored at the east and west by two cultural buildings designed by STUFISH. To the west, the ‘Han Show’ Theatre overlooks Donghu Lake; the Wanda Movie Park overlooks Shahu Lake to the east. The theme park building occupies a 250m long site at one end of the Schu He River promenade.
The primary form of the building derives from the Wuhan Bells, a traditional symbol of the local Chu-Han culture. This shape has been replicated and grouped into two distinct clusters, each big enough to house large scale theme park rides arranged on ground and upper levels. Glazed areas at street level provide double height shop fronts onto the lake, and generous views out from the various dining and retail facilities within.
From the STUFISH designed public plaza to the south, the main entrance bell channels guests through the 'Street of Bells' commercial axis, sweeping them into the Grand Atrium. The balcony walls of the 80m wide atrium are lined with LED screens. Choreographed theatrical lighting enhances the ad-hoc energy of the interstitial spaces and atrium terracing. Jutting escalators and bold signage lead guests to the pre-show lobbies and monumental movie themed experiences designed by Forrec and ILM. To the east the building is flanked by a public park and lakeside boardwalk.
The Wanda Movie Park opened on 20 December 2014.