Amazing New Chinese Wind Tunnel Lets Shaolin Monks Perform in Midair
It’s not quite the same as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but it’s close. A stunning new amphitheater in rural China gives Shaolin Monks a stage to levitate and perform midair stunts.
Designed by Latvian firm Mailitis Architects, the Shaolin Flying Monks Theater has a massive wind tunnel running through its center that allows for the mystifying spectacle, Dezeen reports. The amphitheater has space for other kinds of art performances, as well.
The amazing structure, a mix of laser-cut steel and local quarry stones, is located on Songshan Mountain, home to the Shaolin Monastery, and has a rich cultural history, the firm said in a press release. Songshan, in Central China, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s considered the birthplace of Zen Buddhism and Kung-Fu.
Mailitis Architects designed the amphitheater to incorporate the surrounding natural beauty and pay homage to the cultural significance of the area by incorporating two symbols: a mountain and a tree. The exterior, a sloped outer shell that adjusts for natural light, peaks like the gentle crest of the mountain. It also helps with the airflow for the centrally-located wind tunnel that rises straight through and up above the theater like the branches of a tree’s canopy.
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