MAD architects' fluid-formed harbin opera house opens in china
MAD architects' fluid-formed harbin opera house opens in china MAD architects' fluid-formed harbin opera house opens in china
dec 16, 2015
MAD architects' fluid-formed harbin opera house opens in china


MAD architects’ poetic and fluid-formed harbin opera house opens in china
image © adam mork

 

 

 

along the songhua river and surrounded by the wetland landscape of harbin, beijing-based MAD architects have revealed their design of the dynamic opera house in the northern chinese city. the completion marks the end of the five year construction which sees the building becoming a focal point of the cultural island.

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the opera house is located among the wetland landscape of harbin, china
image © hufton + crow

 

 

 

embedded into the landscape, the form of the building evokes a response to the location’s natural elements. appearing as if it was sculpted by the wind and water, the curvilinear and fluid structure – wrapped in smooth white aluminum panels – instills a poetic yet robust character. situated on an area of 850,000 square feet, the undulating architectural mass hosts a grand and small theater which wraps a large public plaza.

 

‘we envision harbin opera house as a cultural center of the future – a tremendous performance venue, as well as a dramatic public space that embodies the integration of human, art and the city identity, while synergistically blending with the surrounding nature,’ comments ma yansong, founder of MAD.

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the resulting curvilinear façade is composed of smooth white aluminum panels
image © adam mork

 

 

 

inside, the sculptural quality continues with the interiors clad in a combination of glass and timber. soaring above the bright atrium, a lightweight diagrid structure supports a crystalline glass curtain wall comprised of transparent pyramids. the surface alternates between smooth and faceted – referencing the billowing snow and ice of the frigid climate.

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the undulating form appears to be sculpted by the location’s elements
image © adam mork

 

 

 

the main room – the grand theater – is clad in rich manchurian ash wood, emulating a timber mass that has been gently eroded away. the timber walls climb up the main stage, wrapping the main stage and illuminated by the skylights. a combination of careful detailing and sensitivity to the local identity, art and culture of harbin have inherently cultivated the organic and sculptural form of the opera house which will take its visitors on an architectural and theatrical journey.

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upon entering the grand lobby, visitors will see large transparent glass walls spanning the grand lobby
image © hufton + crow

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the wooden element climb up the tall atrium space
image © hufton + crow

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a sculptural timber staircase winds up the atrium
image © hufton + crow

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a lightweight diagrid structure comprised of glass pyramids has a surface which alternates between smooth and faceted
image © hufton + crow

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the vast, lightfilled lobby space welcome visitors inside
image © hufton + crow

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sculpted from manchurian ash, the wooden walls gently wrap around the main stage and theater seating
image © hufton + crow

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the grand theater can seat 1,600 people and the smaller theater accommodates an intimate audience of 400
image © hufton + crow

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the seating rises through the timber mass
image © hufton + crow

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visitors discover an open, exterior performance space that serves as an observation platform with views of harbin
image © hufton + crow

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the scheme took four years to construct
image © adam mork

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at night the form is illuminated from the interior
image © adam mork

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architecture in china (440 articles)