Millennials – particularly affluent ones – are swarming to Xi’an, an ancient Chinese city that’s seen notable development in recent years. Qujiang Creative Circle is a recently opened 527,000-sq-m multi-use complex that tends to them.

It lays the framework for a ‘live-work-play lifestyle’ sought by a new generation of local innovative and creative pioneers, according to The Oval Partnership, the Hong Kong-based international architecture and urban planning firm responsible for the entirety of the complex.

Within the state-of-the-art Creative Circle, commercial, residential, recreational and entertainment locations are anchored by a landmark – the Qujiang Cultural Centre. The 2,000-sq-m subterranean venue was designed to serve as a culturally inclusive ‘heart’ of the city’s civic district. To boost foot traffic, it was strategically positioned beneath an enticing reflective pavilion in the central plaza.

But it’s what’s inside that will seduce visitors into staying: an impactful visual statement that’s intricately crafted from 8,000 pieces of bronze metal flutes. Inspired by Lián Láng – a connective structure between buildings in traditional Chinese architecture – the fluted arrangement is suspended from the ceiling. Married to a 13-m metallic draping veil in the centre of the space, one is imbued by a feeling of weightless suspension. 

After soaking in the awe-inspiring space, visitors can enjoy what it plays host to: shows in the main theatre and performance space, or exhibitions and other creative events in the gallery.