The Dai Show Theatre & Dai Show have provided STUFISH with the unique opportunity to design the theatre building and also the set for the show, making us the first practice ever to deliver all architectural and show elements for a theatre. Designing the entire project allowed us to present a holistic architectural language throughout, from the canopy-inspired roof to purpose-built stage elements.

The Dai Show Theatre is a purpose built theatre located in Xishuangbanna, China as part of a major new resort by the Dalian Wanda Group. The theatre accommodates a permanent acrobatic water show created by show producers Dragone.

The structure of the 1,183 seat theatre is inspired by the geometry of the palm frond, folding in a manner which increases the structural rigidity and echoes the roofs of local Dai architecture. The 110m diameter golden roof is split into two tiers expressing the folding nature of palm fronds. The roof acts as a canopy for the open-air lobby and the structural openings between the tiers allow for natural ventilation responding to Xishuangbanna’s subtropical climate.

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Stufish’s organic design materialises inside the theatre, where the primary folded trusses of the roof are exposed within the auditorium creating the impression that the audience is sat beneath a canopy of palm trees. Long textured “leaves” form golden walls that twist up into the ceiling, creating an intimate, low-lit atmosphere in the VIP areas. The repetitive folding patterns carry throughout the interior spaces, into exclusive suites, at times transforming into radial embossed chandeliers.

The Dai Show Theatre is influenced by both local culture, and local nature, fusing them to create an iconic cultural symbol for the Wanda development in Xishuangbanna.

The building and show opened 25 September 2015

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