Sanya Cultural District

Introducing Zaha Hadid’s Competition-Winning Chinese Project

Modeled after the traditional Chinese sailing ships and the mountainous landscape of Hainan Island to connect tropical nature to an urban cityscape seamlessly, Zaha Hadid Architects’ latest and greatest competition-winning design reimagines the cultural and arts center located in the harbor area of Sanya, China.

Spanning a total of 409,000 square meters, the new development aims to establish itself as the central hub for Sanya’s cultural activities by offering a diverse range of programs that include performing arts, theater, exhibition galleries, conferences, and commercial trade fairs. Not only that but to complement the district’s diverse program, city-center residences, hotels, a variety of shopping and dining amenities, a harborside boardwalk, gardens, marinas, and public plazas are also seamlessly integrated.

While we are no strangers to working with rockstar clients like Zaha Hadid, the scope and potential of this project allowed us to go the extra mile in terms of quality. We joined the competition process in its later stages, tasked solely with creating professional imagery for the exterior of the planned Opera House and Art Center – a dream of any 3D artist, frankly.

As you can tell by looking at the impressive development the studio has designed, working on the renders was a thankful task. We had every ingredient to create stand-out visuals: a huge body of water, unique architecture, diverse location, and plenty of space to play with. It’s probably no exaggeration to say that you could place a camera anywhere in the 3D-scape and you would end up with an amazing picture.

However, working on a project of this scale and complexity requires a steady hand, technical skills, and artistic experience to truly nail. In other words: it’s only a rewarding task when given to and handled by pros with years of practice.

Everyone on the team took the extra effort and time to go off-brief and create compositions that were not part of the initial requirements set by Zaha Hadid.

This is how we ended up with several images depicting the prowess of this structure contrasted against the power and beauty of nature. The Opera House stands brave against the stormy tropical sea, and just a hint of dystopic flair in a red-lit render inspired by the color of the sails the roof of the building was designed after.

We always aim to provide as many images as we can to help our clients choose the ones that best align with their goals and communication plans – these proactive efforts are a testament to good artistry and dedication when it comes to striving for the best at all times.


Sanya, China


Róbert Andrékó
Nelia Correia
Bence Falussy
Péter Kollár
Dániel Oláh
Botond Sass


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