THIS IS THE DESIGN OF SNØHETTA FOR THE SHANGHAI GRAND THEATRE
Snøhetta has been responsible for the design of the Shanghai Grand Opera in Shanghai, China, after an international design competition. With the aim of attracting a wide audience of traditional, classic and experimental performances, Snøhetta has developed the architectural, landscape, interior and graphic design for the complex in collaboration with the ECADI architects based in Shanghai.
The Opera House will be part of a new urban plan for Shanghai, named as the most important initiative of the country’s Five-Year Plan for cultural and global influence. Located in the neighborhood of Expo Houtan, on the banks of the river, the main mission of the project is to become a public and open place that harmonizes the radial design of the surrounding landscape.
Designed to bring together artists and the public under one roof, the complete form of the Opera House presents a ceiling surface that evokes the notions of a deployed fan, “capturing the dynamism of dance and the human body.” The radial movements of the ceiling form a spiral staircase that connects the floor and the roof, while offering views of the city and the river margin. This spiral movement continues throughout the project in the hall, corridors and three auditoriums.
The roof forms an accessible stage and an adequate meeting point for large-scale events and daily visitors, configuring a plaza open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Inside, at the heart of the scheme, an auditorium with capacity for 2,000 people offers state-of-the-art technical and acoustic solutions, while a second auditorium with a capacity for 1,200 seats offers a more intimate environment. In addition, there is a third 1,000-seat auditorium that offers a flexible seating arrangement for experimental performances.
The white exterior of the Opera contrasts with the soft silk used for the interior, complementing the oak wood floors chosen for their acoustic value. The wide glass panels open the main room with natural light, changing the dynamics of the room throughout the climatic seasons. At night, the exterior lights change the look of the stage towers, transforming them into bright lanterns.
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