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Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid Architects

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Zaha Hadid Architects has taken the wraps off its new 1,800-seat Guangzhou Opera House overlooking the Pearl River in the Guangdong province, southern China

The 70,000m² scheme, China’s third-largest theatre, will hold its official ‘international opening’ next February although it has already hosted events for the Asian Games currently taking place in the city.

Construction on the £65 million scheme was held up last year following a fire on the site in May. The opera house was conceived as a ‘twin boulder design’, with the auditorium (right) housed in one block and the restaurant, bar and kitchen in the other.

The blocks are linked by a covered plaza. The interior of the theatre features an undulating, gold-coloured HI-MAC frontage – an acrylic solid surface, which has been chosen for its joint-free appearance and thermoplastic malleability. Read a full review of the project in the Architectural Review next month.

Project team:


Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
Project Directors: Woody KT Yao, Patrik Schumacher
Project Leader: Simon Yu
Project Team: Jason Guo, Yang Jingwen, Long Jiang, Ta-Kang Hsu, Yi- Ching Liu, Zhi Wang, Christine Chow, Cyril Shing, Filippo Innocenti, Lourdes Sanchez, Hinki Kwong, Junkai Jiang
Competition Team 1st Stage: Filippo Innocenti, Matias Musacchio, Jenny Huang, Hon Kong Chee, Markus Planteu,Paola Cattarin, Tamar Jacobs, Yael Brosilovski, Viggo Haremst, Christian Ludwig, Christina Beaumont, Lorenzo Grifantini, Flavio La Gioia, Nina Safainia,
Fernando Vera, Martin Henn, Achim Gergen, Graham Modlen, Imran Mahmood
2nd Stage: Cyril Shing, YanSong Ma, Yosuke Hayano, Adriano De Gioannis, Barbara Pfenningstorff
Local design institute: Guangzhou Pearl River Foreign Investment Architectural Designing Institute (Guangzhou, China)
Structural engineers: SHTK (Shanghai, China); Guangzhou Pearl River Foreign Investment Architectural Designing Institute
Façade engineering: KGE Engineering (Zhuhai, China)
Building Services: Guangzhou Pearl River Foreign Investment, Architectural Designing Institute (Guangzhou, China)
Acoustic consultants: Marshall Day Acoustics (Melbourne, Australia)
Theatre consultant: ENFI (Beijing, China)
Lighting design consultant: Beijing Light & View (Beijing, China)
Project management: Guangzhou Municipal Construction Group Co
Construction management: Guangzhou Construction Engineering Supervision Co
Cost consultant: Guangzhou Jiancheng Engineering Costing Consultant Office
Principal contractor: China Construction Third Engineering Bureau

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Readers' comments (2)

  • YAWN.......

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  • I have just visited it. Unfortunately, it looks like it is 20 years old already and in need of a full refurb. This is not to do with the pollution but the architect trying to acheive something that had little chance of success in the first place. Tiles are falling off, the curved surfaces are clunky facetted peices: it looks like it has been in a couple of shunts: it is a mess. The public space is really poor. Why specify this architecture and build it without the obvious realiastion that it couldn't be built as designed.
    By contrast the public space which sits above a new automated metroline aligned along the axis with the Canton Tower (a much more elegant structure) is marvellous.

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