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Capita to recreate its Wales Millennium Centre - in China

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Capita Architecture has signed a deal to replicate its Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) thousands of miles away in Chongqing, China.

The bizarre contract comes after officials from the city - one of China's fastest-growing conurbations - visited Cardiff last year and were so impressed by the Capita Percy Thomas-designed WMC, that they decided to include a replica on a scheme by developer Chongqing Jinyang Real Estate Company (CJREC).

The original WMC designs will be tailored to fit the £100 million, 320,000m2 mixed-use development that is currently under construction in the city, which lies in the Sichuan Province.

The WMC clone will form a key part of the development, which also features a 5-Star hotel, a shopping mall, parking for 20,000 cars, and housing for 150,000 people.

The Chongqing version will have an audience capacity of at least 1,400, some 500 less than its Welsh counterpart, but will boast a larger stage to accommodate the more expansive nature of Chinese theatrical productions.

Rob Firman, director of Capita Architecture and leader on the project, said: 'The WMC has been critically acclaimed across the world and it's a great honour to be taking our design to one of the world's fastest-growing cities.

'What's more, it also highlights the flexibility of the design, as it has enabled us to not only adapt it specifically for the Chongqing development, but to evolve it to another level.

'We're currently evaluating the original design so it fits in with the development's constraints before handing it over to the Jinyang team later this year,' he added.

It is not known if the lettering around the Cardiff building, two verses by Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis, will be directly translated into Chinese.

by Max Thompson

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