snøhetta spirals staircase into accessible roof for shanghai grand opera house
 

snøhetta spirals staircase into accessible roof for shanghai grand opera house

snøhetta has been commissioned to design the shanghai grand opera house in china, following an international architectural competition. the scheme forms part of the city’s urban masterplan that aspires to make shanghai a world-class hub of economy, science and culture. the concept behind the new venue strives to attract broad audiences as well as global visitors. by combining function and bold aesthetics, the proposed building aims to become a new cultural landmark for local citizens and tourists alike.

snøhetta spirals staircase into accessible roof for shanghai grand opera house designboom

image © mir and snøhetta (main image © brick visuals)

 

 

situated near huangpu river in the expo houtan neighborhood, the design by snøhetta has been envisioned with an ecological and low-carbon profile, supporting the brief of creating a public and open venue. an important aspect of the scheme is the landscaping, which has been imagined with a radial layout, effectively giving the building a context rather than it being simply dropped on the site. the landscaping also harmonizes with the overall geometry of the architecture, ensuring key view paths from both the opera to the city, and from the city to the opera.

snøhetta spirals staircase into accessible roof for shanghai grand opera house designboom

image © mir and snøhetta

 

 

the external architectural expression of the new opera house is noted for the sweeping form of the large roof, which has been designed to embody the concept of movement. capturing the dynamism of dance and the human body, the helical roof evokes an unfolding fan. part of the roof then spirals downwards to form a large staircase, allowing visitors to gain access to the roof and enjoy the large open, public space and views to the river and city beyond. this fan shape is also mirrored throughout the project, into the lobby, the halls, and the three auditoriums.

snøhetta spirals staircase into accessible roof for shanghai grand opera house designboom

image © mir and snøhetta

 

 

in addition to serving as an open, public space for everyday visitors, the large roof is also designed to function as a place for large-scale events. furthermore, to provoke the sense of public ownership, the ‘plaza’ will permit access 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 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 center of snøhetta‘s design is positioned the main 2,000-seat auditorium: a finely tuned instrument that offers state-of-the-art technical solutions and 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 younger generation of opera goers.

snøhetta spirals staircase into accessible roof for shanghai grand opera house designboom

image © mir and snøhetta

 

 

the white exterior of the opera house renders the building as a striking landmark within shanghai. once inside, soft silk has been specified for the interior lining. oak wood forms the main floors of the galleries and the interior of the hall, ensuring optimum acoustic properties. in the hall itself, the wood is stained in hues of dark red. expansive glass panes open up the main hall to natural light, which transforms the experience of the building throughout the day and from season to season. at night, exterior lights change the appearance of the stage towers, transforming them into glowing lanterns, illuminating the roof and skyline.

snøhetta spirals staircase into accessible roof for shanghai grand opera house designboom

image © mir and snøhetta

 

 

‘the shanghai grand opera house is a natural progression of our previous work with designing performing arts centers,’ notes 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.’ 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 ecadi.

snøhetta spirals staircase into accessible roof for shanghai grand opera house designboom

image © mir and snøhetta

snøhetta spirals staircase into accessible roof for shanghai grand opera house designboom

image © mir and snøhetta

snøhetta spirals staircase into accessible roof for shanghai grand opera house designboom

image © mir and snøhetta

 

 

project info:

 

project name: ‘shanghai grand opera house’

project location: shanghai, china

architect: snøhetta

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