Impression SanJieLiu, Guilin

Impression SanJieLiu was one of the most well-known stage performance in China, which made the Town, Yangshuo, in Guilin, known to people in China, or even in the World.

The show has been running since 2002, as the cultural/spiritual pursuit starts to rise rapidly, especially among the young generations, the show business begins to fall. As a result of that, we are working with the client to reimagine the show and the neighborhood in order to revitalize the culture and to bring more young people to the destination.

This presented a situation where most existing structures would remain untouched. Instead focus was shifted to how new intervention could support a pre-existing condition. At present, large clusters of bamboo cover most of the site, creating walls and roofs of mingling pipes and leaves. The concept looks at borrowing the materiality of the bamboo, reconfiguring it to form new space. In doing so, this new space aims to in no way challenge, rather its intention is to augment, albeit very gently, the surrounding bamboo groves and hills.

Currently, there are two main areas of interest for the guest, one at either end of the lengthy island site. The first, the front gate and pagoda where guests enter and can wait.  At the other end, the main stage, perched at the bank of the Li river. However, between these two points remained little interaction. It is here in this middle ground that two assemblies of architecture are introduced. The first, woven bamboo lantern structures, scattered where guests circulate, whose purpose is to guide and intrigue. The second, a stretch of canopy amongst clusters of bamboo, providing area to walk sheltered from regular rainfall. In these, the architecture relies on bamboo not only for its composition, but also its constant referral to sentiment of place.

Near the entry of the site, the lanterns begin small in stature, casting out signals of dappled light through their porous facades. Further in they become incrementally larger to a point where the guest can enter. Here, following the suspense of only viewing, features of the lantern can be experienced from both the inside and out. The makeup of the lanterns remains sincere, with a structure of lashed bamboo that is enclosed in a hand-woven mesh either side, the exterior coarser than the linear weaving inside. To the southern edge of the island the canopy shrouds itself within the massive masts of bamboo. At first glance, it appears to rely on little for support, only the columns of bamboo shooting up and through openings above. The ceiling takes on a shape of an inverted landscape, undulating between different levels of surfaces. The stepping surface of the canopy is covered entirely in irregular hand-woven bamboo, the intention to enchant while still extending recognition to the natural condition of the site.

In acknowledgment to the theatrical spirit of the Impressions Sanjie Liu, moments of performance make its way into many parts of the design: The hand weaving, bamboo playing off the tension of one another. The topography of the canopy ceiling dancing between columns of bamboo as if unsupported. Even the way guests are intended to move from lantern to lantern, in a narrative of interaction. Together these subtle hints encourage a particular frame of mind, readying the guest for the main feature.

PARTNERS:  Hanxiao Liu, Luís Ricardo, David Correa

LEAD ARCHITECT: Henry D’Ath, Lihua Mi

PROJECT TEAM: Dalin Chai, Yihui Zhao, Chaoran Fan, Lexian Kenneth Hu, Yang Wang, Alyssa Tang

PROJECT STATUS: Under Construction

YEAR: September 2018 – Present

PROJECT LOCATION: Yangshuo, Guilin, China


PROGRAM: Pavilion Space / Circulation Space / Sales Space / Exhibition Space


GCPS Interior Decoration Finishing LTD.

DC-Bamboo Architecture

Shanghai di cui Landscaping Co., Ltd.



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