The new Opera House is an important part of a new urban master plan for Shanghai that aims to place the city at the forefront of the globe, economically, scientifically, and culturally. The Opera House is expected to become one of the major cultural landmarks of Shanghai.
Following an international design competition, Snøhetta has been commissioned to design the Shanghai Grand Opera House in Shanghai, China. The project aims to attract a broad audience through offering both traditional and Chinese opera performances, classical concerts and more experimental performances that will attract a younger audience. Snøhetta has developed the architectural, landscape, interior, and graphic design for the Opera, and the project will be undertaken in partnership with Shanghai-based architects ECAD .
“The Shanghai Grand Opera House is a natural progression of our previous work with designing performing arts centers,” says Snøhetta Founder Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. “It is a culmination of the competence and insight gained through projects such as the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, the Busan Opera House in South Korea, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in Canada, and the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers renovation in Paris. The Shanghai Grand Opera House is a product of our contextual understanding and values, designed to promote public ownership of the building for the people of Shanghai and beyond”.
The Shanghai Grand Opera House will be a world class venue, placing the visitor at the center of the stage. Through its aesthetics, functionality, as well as its cultural and ecological ambition, the Opera House will be an accessible canvas for global visitors, local citizens, and artists to fill with life and culture.
The Opera roof will become an accessible stage and meeting place, suitable to both large-scale events and everyday visitors. In celebrating both the collective and the individual, the plaza will allow visitor access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, engendering a sense of public ownership. A series of restaurants, galleries, exhibitions, museums, education centers, libraries and small cinemas will all contribute to the Opera becoming a popular destination.
At the heart of the Opera is the 2,000-seat main auditorium; a finely tuned instrument that offers state-of-the-art technical solutions and superior acoustics. The 1,200-seat second stage will offer a more intimate setting for smaller productions. The 1,000-seat third stage offers a flexible stage and seating arrangement, providing space for more experimental and unique performances, aiming to attract a new generation of opera goers.