Flying Theatre for Shaolin Monks
Six years on, and the Mailitis Architects have achieved what would, until comparatively recently, have been thought impossible. They have designed and built a Flying Theatre.
Essentially, what they have created is a giant wind tunnel, with an amphitheatre, which can seat 230 people, surrounding it. The wind tunnel technology, which underpins the main feature of the site, was actually designed and installed by Aerodium, a company which specialises in such things.
For many visitors to the Shaolin Monastery, it is the external appearance of the new building which will catch their eye first and be their lasting memory. It is located on top of the Cypress Hill and is designed with the shape of two core features of the surrounding landscape – mountains and trees – in mind. The amphitheatre forms the shape of a mountain, whilst the wind tunnel rises in the centre, like a tree sat on the summit.
The structure itself is made from a laser-cut steel superstructure but also features more traditional and local features, such as stone steps handcrafted using local quarry resources, as the architects went out of their way to blend the old and the new.