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Guangzhou Opera House China

Guangzhou Opera House China

Zaha Hadid Architects recently announced the completion of the Guangzhou Opera House. The Opera House design is the latest realization of Hadid Architects’ unique exploration of contextual urban relationships, combining the cultural traditions that have shaped Guangzhou’s history, with the ambition and optimism that will create its future.

Guangzhou Opera House China Guangzhou Opera House China

Guangzhou Opera House China Guangzhou Opera House China

Like pebbles in a stream smoothed by erosion, the Guangzhou Opera House rests in perfect harmony with its riverside location. The Opera House is at the heart of Guangzhou’s cultural development. By adopting state-of-the-art technology in its design and construction, it is a lasting monument to the New Millennium, confirming Guangzhou as one of Asia’s cultural centres. Its unique twin-boulder design enhances the city by opening it to the Pearl River, unifying the adjacent cultural buildings with the towers of international finance in Guangzhou’s Zhujiang new town.

Guangzhou Opera House China Guangzhou Opera House China

Design

The 1,800-seat auditorium of the Opera House, houses the very latest acoustic technology, and the smaller 400-seat multifunction hall is designed for performance art, opera and concerts in the round.

Guangzhou Opera House China

Technically, the 70,000-square-meter complex was built using both cutting-edge technology and obsolete construction methods. Though finished in steel, glass and concrete, the pair of asymmetric buildings — the main structures of the opera house is built up of a metal skeleton requiring 59 unique, custom-cast steel joints.

Guangzhou Opera House China Guangzhou Opera House China

According to the designer, the design of this project was evolved from the concepts of a natural landscape and the fascinating interplay between architecture and nature; engaging with the principles of erosion, geology and topography. The Guangzhou Opera House design has been particularly influenced by river valleys – and the way in which they are transformed by erosion.

Fold lines in this landscape define territories and zones within the Opera House, cutting dramatic interior and exterior canyons for circulation, lobbies and cafes, and allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the building. Smooth transitions between disparate elements and different levels continue this landscape analogy. Custom moulded glass-fibre reinforced gypsum (GFRC) units have been used for the interior of the auditorium to continue the architectural language of fluidity and seamlessness.

Guangzhou Opera House China Guangzhou Opera House China

According to the designing firm, the exterior of the opera house is inspired by the idea of two rocks in a stream. The designer’s approach resulted in spaces that smoothly flow into others, as in nature. Ramps and gradually cascading stairs give access to the main entrances and the outdoors. Inside, visitors go from one area to the next surrounded by the kind of clean, fluid lines and textures. In the grand entrance hall, windows composed of triangular pieces of glass let in sunlight by day and the neighborhood’s neon-lit skyscrapers and towers by night.

Guangzhou Opera House China Guangzhou Opera House China

The Guangzhou Opera House has been the catalyst for the development of cultural facilities in the city including new museums, library and archive.

MGS Architecture March - April 2011



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