ISPA Conference & Expo
ISPA Conference & Expo
ISPA Conference & Expo

CLAD people

Ray Winkler and Cristina Garcia

Ray Winkler is Managing director of Stufish Entertainment Architects
Cristina Garcia is Principal of KPF Architect


The Wuhan Movie Theme Park and the Han Show Theatre have opened in Wuhan, China, the final project of the late Mark Fisher and the first permanent buildings for him and his practice, Stufish Entertainment Architects.

Fisher was responsible for the design of spectacular stage sets for artists including Pink Floyd, Lady Gaga, The Rolling Stones and Madonna, and also created the Millennium Dome Show with Peter Gabriel and the opening and closing ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics. Fisher and the team at Stufish took on the Han Show Theatre and Wuhan Movie Theme Park project in 2010, however Fisher died in June 2013, 18 months before the completion of the buildings.

“These two buildings represent the pinnacle of achievement for Stufish,” said managing director Ray Winkler, speaking to CLADmag. “They are an amalgamation of everything that we as a studio stand for – they are interesting, complex, intriguing, literal, striking, colourful and bold. They are a fantastic testimony to what Mark started off – a studio of very creative, talented designers. To be able to include them in our portfolio is a joy. The only sad part is that Mark is no longer here to enjoy it.”

The Han Show Theatre and Wuhan Movie Theme Park anchor the Wuhan Central Cultural District, a development by Beijing-based group Dalian Wanda which features offices, residential and cultural buildings and shopping malls spread along a 2km canal-side site.

The 2,000-seat Han Show Theatre was purpose-built for a new water show by Cirque du Soleil creator Franco Dragone. The design of the theatre takes the traditional Chinese paper lantern as inspiration, with the building’s façade created from thousands of red aluminium LED discs. Inside the auditorium, audience seats move during the show, revealing a 10m-deep pool with wet and dry lifts used for acrobatic stunts.

The Wuhan Movie Theme Park houses six indoor attractions which combine 3D effects, live actors, props and stunts. The inspiration for the design comes from the Wuhan Bells, a traditional symbol of the local Chu-Han culture.

Mark Fisher and Stufish’s background in entertainment allowed them to bring a fresh way of thinking to the design of the buildings, said Winkler. “In the world of set design and rock and roll staging design, the gestation to completion period is very quick, so you can experiment with many more ideas than you could do with a permanent building. When it came to these two buildings we had a really good reference point of things we knew worked on a grand scale and that people find entertaining and intriguing.

“A lot of architecture is self referential, looking at what other architects are doing, and that brings a certain kind of incestuous mindset. We’re much more interested in looking at the wrap of a CD cover or at a billboard poster or a rock roll show. That respectful disrespect for architectural tradition has allowed us to go down certain avenues which more traditional architects might not have dared to do.”

After graduating from the Architectural Association School in London, Mark Fisher moved onto creating set designs for musicals. His first big break came in 1976, when he was asked to build a set of inflatable sculptures for Pink Floyd’s Animal Tour. This set the tone for his later work, which was very varied, but always dramatic, striking and hugely ambitious.

“Mark was definitely not a minimal architect – his architecture was outrageous; big, splashy, noisy and extravagant,” said Fisher’s widow and fellow architect Cristina Garcia, principal of KPF Architects. “He understood the basics of good architecture, and he had a very strong traditional, formal education that translated well into his not so formal and more eclectic type of work.

“Mark always used to say that an idea was only an idea until you actually built it. He knew how to get things built, and he wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries to create something new.”

Gallery
Click on an image to open the image gallery
company profile
Company profile: Willmott Dixon
Willmott Dixon delivers the social infrastructure that people depend on in their daily lives. We partner with our customers to focus on the services they want to provide, not just the building we construct, and we are committed to achieving a higher social purpose through our work.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
Wellness kitchen
"I’ve used my own life as a living lab to study the hurdles from a busy career mom’s perspective"

Veronica Schreibeis Smith couldn’t find a kitchen which worked for her plant-based diet, so she invented the wellness kitchen

Victims’ names carved around the edge of the waterfalls at the Memorial Plaza
"We set out by saying that our intention was to reflect the present with the Memorial Pavilion, whereas the two waterfalls going into the footprints of the two towers reflect the past"

Creating the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York involved meticulous planning. Its director Alice Greenwald tells us more

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
Populous designed Zhuhai’s International Tennis Centre
Andrew James heads a new partnership between Populous and Alisports, the sports arm of Alibaba
"Alibaba has set its sights on operating 50,000 sports venues in China over the next 10 years to build a connection with its 470 million subscribers"

The Populous director explains a major deal which will transform China’s sporting infrastructure

The mushroom motif draws on both fantasy and history, Bensley says
Bill Bensley's latest resort project is on the site of a former university
"In this very competitive world of hospitality design it’s paramount that everything we do is original"

The inspiration behind his new Vietnam resort

The final phase of the Governors Island park project opened in July 2016, with sloping landscapes offering views of New York Harbor
Adriaan Geuze
"The profile of landscape architecture has been raised by international cities competing with one another"

How the West 8 founder is using the healing power of nature on a Korean site with a turbulent history

cladkit product news
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
cladkit product news
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
cladkit product news
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
Jaffe Holden helps bring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures alive
Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics for the Academy Museum
Magali Robathan
Acoustical consulting firm Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics and audio/video design services for the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion ...
Fabio Alemanno Design uses elegant semi-precious stones to create memorable spa experiences
Alemanno believes the stones are well-placed in the spa environment thanks to their capacity to positively support physical and mental health
Megan Whitby
Fabio Alemanno Design has expanded its collection with semi-precious stones to enhance spas, wellness facilities, hotels and private residences. The ...
ISPA Conference & Expo
ISPA Conference & Expo