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Guangzhou Opera House

Zaha Hadid Architects

Shared By

Devan, Hanley Wood

Project Name

Guangzhou Opera House

Project Status



573,474 sq. feet

Construction Cost



Guangzhou Municipal Government


  • King Glass Engineering
  • Guangzhou Pearl River Foreign Investment, Architectural Designing Institute
  • Marshall Day Acoustics
  • China ENFI Engineering Group
  • Lighting Designer: Beijing & Light Co.
  • Guangzhou Municipal Construction Group Co.
  • Construction Manager: Guangzhou Construction Engineering Supervision Co.
  • Guangzhou Jiancheng Engineering Costing Consultant Office
  • General Contractor: China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Co.



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Project Description

The buildings were not conceived planimetrically, with notions of front, back, and sides, but rather were modeled dynamically in 3D, so the resulting buildings and landscape are omnidirectional. Outside, the buildings are defined by their faceted structural skin, covered in triangular tiles made of glass and white and black granite.

The lobbies are voluminous, column-free public rooms. Terraces and staircases cantilevering from the theater volume provide a grand architectural promenade and a stage for the audience itself.

The sweeping staircases and sculpted terraces of the foyer in the main volume give way to the auditorium, where curving balconies—designed to fragment the sound acoustically and to assure sight lines—emerge smoothly from walls, forming continuous surfaces within what Schumacher calls the “balanced asymmetry” of the auditorium. Here, Hadid refines the vineyard terracing first used by Hans Scharoun in the visually lyrical Berlin Philharmonie in 1963. Overhead, an installation of 4,000 LED fixtures dots the ceiling.

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