Snøhetta to create Shanghai Grand Opera House

3 April 2019
  • Brick Visuals
  • Mir & Snøhetta



World-class venue to feature sweeping stepped roof

Snøhetta has been commissioned to design the Shanghai Grand Opera House, in partnership with architects ECADI. The new venue is an important part of an urban master plan that aims to increase the city’s global standing, with the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan identifying the Opera House as the most important initiative to strengthen Shanghai’s cultural influence abroad. Alongside a range of opera performances and classical concerts held in the 2,000 seat main auditorium and 1,200 seat second stage, a flexible 1000-seat space will presenting more experimental productions in order attract younger audiences.

The designers sought to reflect the Opera’s mission to provide a public and open space by establishing clear sightlines from the venue to the city, bringing artists and the public together under a sweeping shared roof. This stepped structure is intended to embody the concept of movement, while giving the impression of an unfolding fan. The roof will also act as a stage and meeting place, suitable for both large-scale events and everyday visitors. A plaza area will offer 24-hour a day access, engendering a sense of public ownership and providing visitors with a series of restaurants, galleries, exhibitions, museums, education centres, libraries and small cinemas.

“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.”

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

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