Amazing New Chinese Wind Tunnel Lets Shaolin Monks Perform in Midair

(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
Shaolin Flying Monks Theater, on Songshan Mountain, China. (Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)

 

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.

(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)

 

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.

(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Courtesy Malitis Architects)
(Courtesy Malitis Architects)

 

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.

(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)
(Ansis Starks/Courtesy Mailitis Architects)

 

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