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From containers to theater

By Zhou Wenting | Shanghai Star | Updated: 2014-11-06 10:25

From containers to theater

New Space: The KFS Music Box was constructed out of old shipping containers. Photo provided to Shanghai Star

K FS Music Box is an outdoor theater built using four discarded containers. There was neither concreting nor construction waste when it was built as all the leftover fragments cut from the containers were used for sculpture and decoration.

Architect Fu Guohua designed this innovative theater at Shanghai Culture Square on Middle Fuxing Road. It opened to the public in August.

"We can name quite a lot splendid theaters in the country but the maintaining cost is fairly high and the expenditure on air conditioning is at least 20,000 yuan ($3,270) for them each per day. I want to create a paragon with something new," says Fu, general manager of KFS Design International Shanghai Inc.

He clicked with the idea of using recycled containers.

"There are many discarded containers and their fate is to be rented by construction sites for workers to sleep in. But recycle doesn't mean randomly reusing something useless. It means fully exploiting its surplus values," he says.

Fu bought the discarded containers from a wharf for 10,000 yuan each and arranged one on each side to form four stages on four sides. A total of 300 rotary seats are placed in the middle to enable spectators to switch among the surrounding stages.

"We didn't even paint the containers. We just removed the rust and dust," he says. "All we need to add is some lights in the evening for the show. Some with solar energy."

The theater gets great feedback from the public, he says. "It was showering during one performance in August but nobody from the audience left."

This is not Fu's first creation with recycled containers. Five years ago, he built several guest houses with the materials on Chongming Island.

"There's a suite inside each container. Some of the sides are replaced with glass so that guests will feel a close embrace with nature," he says.

"Through these projects, we hope to let foreign countries know that China is not only a heavy user of energy but also an advocate of resource conservation," Fu says.

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