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Competition: Shenzhen Opera House

Shenzhen opera house (2)
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Shenzhen Municipality has launched an international contest for a landmark new 167,000m² waterfront opera house

The competition will select a team to design and deliver a major new cultural complex on a 17.5ha site on the southern end of Shekou Peninsula close to the Shenzhen Bay Bridge which connects the mainland China settlement to Hong Kong.

The development will feature a 2,300-capacity opera hall, a 1,800-seat concert hall, a smaller opera hall, multi-function theatre, and a stand-alone 3,000m² ‘art parlour’ for meetings and exchanges. International teams already invited to participate include Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Santiago Calatrava, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Herzog & de Meuron, Snøhetta, Steven Holl Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop and the China Architecture Design & Research Group.

In its brief, the municipality describes Shenzhen as a ‘vigorous and innovative modern coastal city, [which] serves as both an important window on China’s reform and opening up, and the core engine of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). It is inching toward the goal of becoming a pilot demonstration zone for socialism with Chinese characteristics and a competitive and innovative settlement with global influence by the middle of this century.

‘Referencing the layout of leading international cities, Shenzhen launched the “Ten Major Cultural Facilities in the New Era” construction plan. Shenzhen Opera House, the most important one among these projects, is expected to bring quality cultural life to the citizens as a world-class palace of art, a new international platform for cultural exchanges in GBA, a new cultural landmark of Shenzhen, and a quality coastal art parlour for the public.’

Shenzhen is a major Pearl River Delta city, just north of Hong Kong. It grew rapidly following its designation as China’s first special economic zone in 1979 and has a population of around 11.9 million.

The latest competition comes a year after Foster + Partners won an international contest for a new headquarters for China Merchants Bank nearby, defeating bids by Mecanoo, FPF, SOM, GMP and local practice Aube.

The project is backed by the municipality’s Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources and Bureau of Culture, Sports, Tourism, Radio and Television.

Invited teams will each receive RMB 1 million (£110,000) to participate in the design phase while teams selected through the open call will receive RMB 0.6 million (£66,000). The overall winner will take home a RMB 3 million prize (£330,000) while several second prizes of RMB 1.8 million (£200,000) and third prizes of 0.9 million (£100,000) will also be awarded.

The deadline for applications has been extended to 3pm local time on 10 March.

How to apply

Visit the competition website and registration page for more information

Contact details

Urban and Architectural Design Office
Planning Building
8009 Hongli West Road
Futian District

Email: competition@szopera.cn
Tel: +86 18126316869

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