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: Barr + Wray Ltd
Founded in 1959, Barr + Wray is recognised as a world-leading provider of spa design, engineering and pool & spa equipment.
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
features
The bridge leads to outdoor meeting and work spaces
"We’re not built for constant comfort. When we live in spaces that connect us to our surroundings, we feel better, stronger and happier – and that is the very definition of being well"

Early-onset MS inspired Adria Lake to explore resilience as both a healing modality and an approach to design in the creation of her new home and company headquarters in Colorado

The Ian Schrager Company designed the “provocative and flamboyant” interiors
The hotelier said his ambition is ‘to upset the status quo’
"Everyone deserves a one-of-a-kind experience that lifts their spirits and makes their heart beat faster"

On upsetting the status quo with his latest hotel

Studying dragonfly wings helped with the design of the Eden Project’s dome intersections
Michael Pawlyn
"Herzog and De Meuron’s Bird’s Nest stadium looks awesome, but it’s incredibly resource-intensive and takes none of the ingenious aspects of Birds’ Nests"

From climate change to resource scarcity, Exploration Architecture uses biomimicry to address some of the world’s major challenges. Its founder tells us how

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The architectural concept was inspired by the desert rose
Jean Nouvel Architect
"It has spaces inside that exist nowhere else"

On the National Museum of Qatar

Equinox Westlake Village in Thousand Oaks, California features an Olympic-sized pool
Aaron Richter worked for Starwood and Ian Schrager before joining Equinox in 2008
"We’ve been working on the hotel concept for about three years now, and it’s almost ready to reveal."

As high end fitness chain Equinox prepares to enter the hotel market, its VP of design sets out his plans

The installation uses new liquid crystal technology developed by researchers to create the rainbow
The Van Gogh Cycle Path runs from where Vincent Van Gogh lived between 1883 and 1885
"This is not a projection or a slide – it’s a real rainbow"

His Rainbow Station light installation

The buildings provide a strong visual contrast with their surroundings landscape
Peter Zumthor created three buildings at the site of the old Allmannajuvet zinc mines
"The designs portray the drudgery and strenuous nature of miners’ daily lives"

On his zinc mine museum in Norway

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 ...
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 ...
CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 announces new Attractions & Entertainment Technology Zone
The event will allow buyers and suppliers to meet
Magali Robathan
Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI) invites cruise lines, shipyards, design studios, outfitters, and suppliers to take part in CSI Design Expo ...
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 ...
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 ...
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
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 ...
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 ...