Chinese city of Guangzhou along with its other values is outstanding as their is Zaha Hadid’s another really fascinating building. At a glance you will know that this Opera building with its open spaces and curling, transitional forms is yet another fruit of the architect’s brilliant mind.
Design Contest was announced in April 2002 and along with Hadid, drew the attention of many well-known architects and architectural companies, including Coop Himmelb(l)au and Rem Koolhaas. In the same year, Zaha Hadid’s project was named as a winner.
Guangzhou Opera House is the biggest cultural center in southern China, and construction and execution of the whole project cost about 200 million dollars.
Construction lasted from 2003 until 2010. Opera is located in the city’s business district, near River Pearl side and occupies 70000 square meters of land. This site is in constant growth and cultural progress. The shape of the building is reminiscent of 2 big stones, as if thrown into the river, and as if water “shaped, beautifued ” its surface. Due to this shape, the building easily fits into the environment, there is a true natural connection.
The theater has two halls: 1800-seat, large auditorium equipped with the latest acoustic technology and a smaller, 400-seat, multi-functional hall for concerts, opera and other performances; Theater also houses shops and cafes. As Hadid’s other works, this building used natural light. Intertwined walls create a lot of gateways and corridors as if it is a kind of maze and you could be lost in it. Moving between the floors is made easy using stairs and escalators. Specially-made fiber glass reinforced gypsum panels were used to create the interior of the auditorium, in order to emphasize the theme of the design, flexibility and transition.
Upon entering the main hall you will find that the places are a bit assymetrical and they surround the stage from three sides. The ceiling is covered with a lot of small bulbs; When the main light reduces before the performance, these little lamps light and leave us feeling as if we are sitting out under the stars. One wall of the reception is completely made out of glass and offers a wonderful view of the city, especially at night.
Despite a flawless design, the construction still had some flaws. It was clear that the present technologies could not fully embody futuristic ideas. Nevertheless, the opera house remains one of the most important buildings in China as well as in Zaha Hadid’s career.
Author: Meri Khamkhadze
English Edit: Nutsa Namoradze