The city of Sanya is centered at the convergence of the Sanya and the Linchunhe Rivers and fronts the South China Sea to the west. The original central business district for the city is defined by these natural boundaries. The project site for the Haibin Theater Tower is at the heart of the old city and is part of the convergence of these rivers and ocean shorelines. The name for the city is derived from this collection of unique topographical conditions; the natural “Y” formation of rivers is referenced in the Chinese character “Ya” of San”ya”.
Currently located on the site is the original movie theater for the city of Sanya – the Haibin Theater. Originally opened in 1959, it was used for screening movies until 2008. The concept for the site brings the ideas of nature, the city and water together on the historical location of a theater to create a new urban destination for living, working and entertainment.
The Chinese characters for “Asia” (Ya) and “People” (Ren) are formal abstractions for the tower shape. Large curving glass facades on the east and west sides of the building create the visual statement for the project. They also allow for view off the sea and mountains.
The tower is situated at the western edge of the site to take advantage of views to the west as well as mark the address on the street with an iconic form.
A three level retail podium is situated directly behind the tower to the east. Restaurants and shops occupy the street and first level above grade. A 9 screen cinema sits at level three around a day-lit atrium.
The curving curtain wall "Ren" form of the tower can be clearly read from the street in both directions, creating a unique frontage for the project along an otherwise typical urban CBD streetscape.
LED lighting integrated into the curtain wall will accentuate the form and animate the facade.
Hainan Island has an indigenous population known for it's colorful textile patters and designs which have become popular with tourists visiting the city. One of these traditional motifs is reinterpreted and employed in the curtain wall design as a large graphic pattern that can be seen clearly during the daytime. With a large west facing expanse of glass this pattern provides solar shading for the spaces inside the tower through a fritted glass application.
At night, the fritted pattern dissolves as lights inside the tower become brighter than the outside light hitting the glass.
The main structural systems for the tower and podium are site cast concrete in keeping with widely used local constriction standards and techniques. The iconic curving form for the tower is realized via simple curtain wall detailing for cost control. The tower is located at the main street frontage for high visibility and to provide a large area behind for retail spaces free of any tower columns and shear walls.
Three levels of retail and cinemas will occupy the podium with one level of on-site parking in a basement level.