The unique lake island site calls for an exceptional architectural composition of two wings that frame a gateway between two urban districts on opposite sides of the water.

The composition is remarkable in its capacity to hold the two wings together while allowing them to both be constructed and function independently.

A thoroughfare is designed to pass under a central plaza where it connects to drop off areas, parking and loading. Primary exit lanes lead cars and busses up to drop off areas in the central plaza above, whereupon people may enter the buildings ceremoniously. VIP can be dropped off in a special location in the garage and use elevators that lead directly to the VIP room and theater. Landscaped promenades direct people to converge on the central plaza.

On the waterfront sides of the buildings, stepped gardens allow people to enjoy extraordinary perspectives of the cultural complex, in the foreground, and the surrounding city. The geometry of the buildings is primarily dedicated to fostering an unforgettable subjective and organic experience of the waterfront. 

The site design is intended to be a comprehensive synthesis of plazas, pedestrian and vehicular access, water movement systems and landscape features which are integrated with the buildings and the surrounding water.

The plaza serves as a public space for large receptions and parties.  Entrances to the North and South wings face the plaza. The plaza features a reflecting pool with a skylight in the middle. The two lobbies are open orientation spaces with ramps ascending and bridges crossing overhead in a dramatic manner that exhibits the activity of users. It is possible to pass through the lobbies to gardens that look out over the water and city beyond.

The geometry and structural system are designed in accordance with a pattern of repetitive modules that optimize pre-fabrication, pre-assembly and the use of modular insulation and cladding.

The program includes 2,200 m2 for performance & conference; 3800, m2 for exhibition space; 6500 m2 for the theater; 9,500 m2 for a youth activity center; 1,000 m2 for public activities spaces; 3,000 m2 for classrooms; 1,500 m2 for library and study center; 4500 m2 for commercial programs, café and leisure tearoom; 3,000 m2 for indoor sports; 1,100 m2 for offices & management; parking for 357 cars. 

Design team: Preston Scott Cohen, Carl Dworkin; Mark Eichler, assistant

Schedule:  One of four finalists in the international competition, 2016

Program: 50,300 M2