New National Center for Performing Arts Opens in Beijing


The curtains opened Saturday evening for the premier concert at the National Center for the Performing Arts of China. A line-up of the nation’s premier musicians gathered at the spectacular egg-shaped venue, formerly known as the National Grand Theater.

The Center, designed by French architect Paul Andreu, is one of several large new architectural showpieces commissioned by the Chinese government in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The complex includes three performance spaces: a 2,416-seat opera house, a 2,017-seat concert hall and a 1,040-seat theater. The total cost of construction is more than $330 million.

Andreu conceived the centre as a transparent island and a city of theatres surrounded by a man-made lake in Beijing’s latest cultural district. The exterior Yin-Yang-inspired shell in the shape of a half ellipsoid is covered by titanium panels and accentuated in the middle by a curtain of glass that opens gradually from top to bottom. The entrance and other passages are situated under the lake.

Video (english)



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~ by Stampfli & Turci on December 27, 2007.

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