New cultural landmark planned for Shanghai
Snøhetta has won an international design competition with their vision for the Shanghai Grand Opera House.
They will serve as the architects, landscape architects, interior and graphic designers on the project, in conjunction with Shanghai architects ECADI.
As part of the urban masterplan for Shanghai, the opera house will be a new cultural landmark in the Expo Houtan neighbourhood, a convex bank in the riverside area near the Huangpu River destined to have a low-carbon profile and be incredibly ecologically sensitive.
Snøhetta’s design features a helical roof surface reminiscent of an unfolding fan. The fan-like spiral shape extends into the halls, lobby, and three auditoriums of the opera house.
This radial layout also reflects the circular geometry of the surrounding landscape. Visitors are able to view a panorama of the city and Huangpu riverbanks from the roof.
The Shanghai Grand Opera House’s roof forms a spiral staircase creating both space and surface, and connecting the ground to the sky. The staircase also links the upper levels of the building to a stepped riverside plaza, a space that offers an accessible stage and meeting place for both large-scale events and everyday visitors.
This plaza will be accessible to visitors 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, fostering a sense of public ownership over the space.
The main hall features large panes of glass that open it up to natural light in the daytime, and at night exterior lights turn the stage towers into glowing lanterns, illuminating the skyline and roof.
Snøhetta’s founder, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, says “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.”
Planning began in 2017, and the structure is expected to be complete by 2023.