Following an international design competition, Shanghai Grand Opera House has been designed by Norwegian Architects, the Norwegian architect company Snøhetta.
The building’s most prominent feature will be a helical roof that connects to the ground via a spectacular open-air spiral staircase. Snøhetta has designed this to resemble an unfolding fan, evoking “the dynamism of dance and the human body”.
Aiming to attract a broad audience for traditional, classical, and experimental performances, Snøhetta has developed the architectural, landscape, interior, and graphic design for the sweeping complex in collaboration with Shanghai-based architects ECADI.
New urban masterplan for Shanghai
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 building is reminiscent of the Oslo Opera House completed by the company in 2008, which also featured a publicly accessible roof that slopes down to meet the waterfront.
The radial movements of the roof form a spiraling staircase that connects the ground and rooftop while offering views across the city and river bank. This spiraling motion continues throughout the project in the lobby, halls, and three auditoriums.
One of Shanghai’s major cultural landmarks
The Opera House is expected to become one of the major cultural landmarks of Shanghai – the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan names it as the most important initiative to strengthen Shanghai’s cultural and global influence.
Shanghai Grand Opera House Designed by Norwegian Architects
“The Shanghai Grand Opera House is a natural progression of our previous work with designing performing arts centers,” explained Snøhetta co-founder Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, referencing the studio’s work on similar projects including the one in Oslo, and Busan Opera House in South Korea.
Situated in the Expo Houtan neighborhood, at a convex bank in the riverside, the scheme’s primary mission is to be a public, open venue that harmonizes with the radial layout of the surrounding landscape.
All images, copyright Snøhetta
Shanghai Grand Opera House Designed by Norwegian Architects, written by Tor Kjolberg