15 Sep 2019 Attractions Management Handbook

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Attractions Management Handbook - Dynamic China

Attractions in China

Dynamic China

This year IAAPA presented China with an platform from which to showcase its rapidly evolving arts and attractions sector. Helen Patenall highlights some of the country’s most ambitious future designs


Hong kong

M+, Hong Kong’s future museum for 20th and 21st century visual culture, is to grace the waterfront of Victoria Harbour as part of the new West Kowloon Cultural District.

Of the total investment, approximately HK$5bn (£378m, e474m, US$645m) is coming from the Hong Kong SAR government to pay towards construction costs, with a further HK$1.7bn (£128m, e161m, US$219m) being spent on the art collection and related costs.

Pritzker prize-winning Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron was selected ahead of five other short-listed practices to design the project. Previous work includes the 2008 Beijing Olympics ‘Bird’s Nest’ Stadium and Tate Modern. Also chosen to work on the design of the project is TFP Farrells and Ove Arup & Partners HK.

In addition to 20th and 21st century art, M+ will accommodate design, architecture and moving image collections from Hong Kong, China, Asia and beyond. It will be the largest component of a 40-hectare (99-acre) project delivered by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, which will include 23 hectares (57 acres) of public open space built on reclaimed land.

The planned exhibition space for the museum is around 17,000sq m (183,000sq ft) ? more than double the size of Tate Modern ? and the facility will also feature education facilities, restaurant and museum offices.

Since 2012 M+ has presented diverse public programmes and exhibitions, while a permanent collection is being compiled in the run up to the 2018 opening.


The Museum of Visual Culture (aka M+) will showcase 20th and 21st century art and design
China Comic & Animation Museum (CCAM)


Inspired by their client’s devotion to the comics and animations entertainment industry, MVRDV designed the e92m (£73m, US$125m) China Comic and Animation Museum (CCAM) to resemble a series of interconnected speech balloons.

On completion in 2015, texts and cartoon-style reliefs will be projected onto the monochrome white concrete façade of the CCAM to animate the exterior while simultaneously making reference to the traditional and very much respected Chinese ceramic trade industry.

The huge 44-acre (18-hectare) project in Hangzhou – commissioned by Hangzhou Urban Planning Bureau – will occupy a park spread over a series of linked islands. Large openings between the balloons will provide access and views.

The eight speech balloon-shaped structures will cover 30,000sq m (322,917sq ft) and each will accommodate a different aspect of the attraction, including a lobby, an education zone, three theatres/cinemas seating 1,100 people, and a comic book library. By interconnecting the structures, guests will be able to access all the areas on a circular tour. Visitors will also be invited to physically experiment with animation techniques via elements such as green screen, stop motion, drawing, and facial animation accommodated within a giant 3D zoetrope – a device that produces the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures – within the ‘interactive balloon’.

Amsterdam-based exhibition designers Kossman.deJong have also created a permanent exhibition zone featuring a chronological spiral, complemented by a flexible temporary exhibition hall.

Additional facilities will include a roof terrace restaurant and a public plaza.

CCAM is the centrepiece of a wider project comprising a series of hill-shaped buildings accommodating offices, a hotel and a convention centre.


Visitors can take a circular tour of the eight interconnected ‘balloons’
Qingdao Culture & Art Centre


Chinese port city Qingdao is to become the home of a huge two million sq ft (185,806sq m) cultural complex featuring museums, galleries and art islands.

The Qingdao Culture and Art Centre, designed by Steven Holl Architects, will house four museums connected by a specially designed light loop that mimics the characteristics of China’s Jiaozhou Bay Bridge ? the world’s longest bridge over water. The loop will connect all parts of the complex, as well as gallery space, so that visitors can enjoy the views while exploring the centre. The loop will also be raised in such a way as to permit the natural sounds and breezes blowing in from the nearby ocean to flow across the attraction.

The main feature of the site is the use of art islands ? otherwise known as Yishudao ? which will come in the form of three sculpted cubes and four small landscaped art areas. The Modern Art Museum is to sit in the central square of the site, while the Public Arts Museum will form the main experience for those who enter from the south. The north Yishudao will house the Classic Art Museum, while the south Yishudao will host the Performing Arts Programme and exhibition space. The light loop will also create a public central square overlooking a water garden.

Renowned for focusing on sustainable resources, Steven Holl has encompassed solar cells in the loop to provide 80 per cent of the museum’s electrical needs. Reflecting on-site ponds will help recycle water, while 480 geothermal wells will provide the centre’s heating and cooling.

Qingdao is emerging as one of China’s most culturally expansive cities. The region hosted the watersports section of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and in 2017 it will be home to a cinematic mega-complex created by the Dalian Wanda group – aimed at pushing the country’s cinematography onto the world stage.


Four museums will be connected by a light loop mimicking China’s massive Jiaozhou Bay Bridge
Sifang Art Museum


Innovative architects Steven Holl have also designed The Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, which hit the public arena last November. The structure explores the viewpoints, structures and materials that influence Chinese painting.

Based at the opening of an architectural site in the Laoshan National Forest Park, which houses projects from the Chinese International Practical Exhibition of Architecture (CIPEA) programme, the museum incorporates parallel perspective spaces and gardens and is furnished in black bamboo-formed concrete. The black-and-white colour scheme was designed to complement the exhibits housed inside, while the centre’s courtyard is paved in recycled Old Hutong bricks from the ancient courtyards in the centre of Nanjing city.

The 30,000sq ft (2,787sq m) Sifang Art Museum is capped by two impressive lighted structures, which appear to hover over the museum’s base. These two structures house gallery spaces providing views across the skyline of one of China’s most ancient cities.

The country’s growing desire to increase its usage of economically viable processes and materials has resulted in the implementation of a geothermal cooling and heating system which makes use of recycled storm water.

The Sifang’s opening exhibition ? The Garden of Diversion ? explored the utopian tradition of philosophical gardens in the region, showcasing works from the likes of He An and emerging Nanjing-based artist Li Jingxiong.


Sifang Art Gallery explores the viewpoints, structures and materials that influence Chinese painting

Sifang Art Gallery explores the viewpoints, structures and materials that influence Chinese painting

Sifang Art Gallery explores the viewpoints, structures and materials that influence Chinese painting
Shanghai Disney Resort


Shanghai Disney Resort in the city’s Pudong New District is opening in 2015. The 3.9sq km (1.5sq mile) resort will centre on Shanghai Disneyland ? a Magic Kingdom-style park blending classic Disney storytelling and characters with new attractions, experiences and entertainment tailored for the people of China. The Enchanted Storybook Castle will be the world’s tallest, largest and most interactive Disney castle yet, featuring a magnificent winding staircase leading visitors on a “Once Upon a Time Adventure”, complete with Disney princesses, as well as a boat ride with a secret underground chamber.

Disney’s most interactive castle yet
Iron Man, Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong

Opening in 2016 at Hong Kong Disneyland is a new themed area based on the Iron Man film. Visitors will be taken on an epic adventure with character Tony Stark against alien invaders across Hong Kong. At Stark Expo to Tomorrowland at Hong Kong Disneyland, guests will be able to view Iron Man’s suits and other innovations, while the Iron Man Experience will allow guests to take flight with Iron Man and meet and take photos with Iron Man. In the past two years, new zones such as Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point combined have increased the size of the theme park by around 25 per cent.

Visitors will be taken on an epic adventure
Titanic attractio


A theme park in landlocked Sichuan will showcase a life-size replica of the Titanic. Seven Star Energy Investment Group’s vision is to build a ship in which several hundred people can simultaneously experience a simulation of the tragic sinking in 1912. Shaking, tumbling and leaking water will be created via sound and light effects. It is thought that the mock vessel will cost in the region of RMB1bn (£94m, e118m US$161m). Central to the new Romandisea Seven Star International Cultural Tourism Resort, the Titanic attraction will also incorporate a museum celebrating the vessel’s and heritage.

The replica ship will simulate the tragedy
Harbin Eontime City


A new imaginative amusement park called Harbin Eontime City is set to open in China’s northeast region in 2015. Visitors will encounter magical lands inhabited by mysterious characters at Cloud Castle Kingdom and Galaxy Wonderland.

Guests will be able to explore two distinct zones: Cloud Castle Kingdom and Galaxy Wonderland
Monkey Kingdom


A highly immersive attraction based on tales from one of the greatest novels of Chinese literature – Journey to the West – is slated to open in China later this year. Designed and creatively managed by Thinkwell in collaboration with Beijing-based Zhonghong Group, Monkey Kingdom will encompass conference centres, hotels, exhibition halls and cultural entertainment zones in order to meet the needs of business and tourism visitors. Aspects will include a Sea Village, based on Mediterranean and Persian shipping ports; a Sky Village featuring Tibetan architecture; a boat ride; a 4D cinema; and a Battles of the Monkey King motion simulator dark ride.

The Sea Village is based on Mediterranean and Persian shipping ports
The Great Wall Experience


A tourism area dubbed The Great Wall Experience will be built at the most visited section of the Great Wall of China. The zone aims to bring the rich history of the Great Wall to life by showcasing the cultural importance, historic significance and grandeur of the historic monument.

The new tourism area will showcase the significance and beauty of the Great Wall of China

Helen Patenall is the Handbook Editor of Attractions Management Handbook

[email protected]

Originally published in Attractions Handbook 2014 edition

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