Shenzhen Opera House
Robert Gutowski Architects among superstar finalists in a contest to design the Shenzhen Opera House. The final result has been announced by the city’s government, awarding first prize to Jean Nouvel, and the two runner-up positions to Bjarke Ingels Group and Kengo Kuma respectively.
Robert Gutowski Architects is extremely proud of being listed among world renowned architects. Selected teams were Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Santiago Calatrava, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Herzog & de Meuron, Snøhetta, Steven Holl Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, China Architecture Design & Research Group, Robert Gutowski Architects, Kengo Kuma and Associates, DLR Group, REX Architecture, UNStudio, MVRDV, ZDA-Zoboki Design & Architecture, Mecanoo, Rogers Stirk Harbour, Shenzhen Tanghua Architect & Associates, BIG Bjarke Ingels Group and Boeri Architecture.
Our creative intention is to equally represent the greatness of contemporary architecture and artistic inspiration in our competition design. The sculpture-like form of the Shenzhen Opera House is rooted in tradition, but its engineering concept reveals world-class contemporary design knowledge. When seeing a postcard of the new cultural center, we want everyone in Brazil, Iceland, France or anywhere in the world to think of the same city: Shenzhen.
The appearance of the Opera House shall be inspiring and passionate. The lasting experience of the view is provided by the large, curved roof elements. The unique structures are accessible as roof terraces in several places, and they also function as an observation deck from the higher floors. The dominant color of the building is golden yellow. The Opera House is an open and receptive public building. It is both a cultural stronghold and a home of everyday life, which, in addition to its diverse range of programs, also serves the recreational needs of the local people. At the same time, due to its scale and appearance, it will also be the number one destination of domestic and international tourism.
We have paid special attention to create real and valuable content behind the iconic appearance. The Shenzhen Opera House offers a memorable experience both for fans of classical music, for those who want to relax on the beach, as well as for tourists from far-away places. The grand opera, the operetta hall, the symphony concert hall and the multifunctional theater provide a unique visual and acoustic experience. Its world-class acoustics can only be created from the unity of architecture and the highest level of acoustic design knowledge and experience.
The opera hall has 2300 seats, with shape and volume designed in consideration of the sightline, the acoustic design, and pleasant visual experiences. We designed a unique balcony system. The proposed design of the main auditorium is based on the “horseshoe” shaped Italian Baroque Opera concept, which minimizes physical distance between performers and audience, gives optimal intimacy and clarity. Our novelty of the balconies provides closer seats to the stage with better sightlines. The innovation helps to avoid deep balconies and back seats with dry sound. In many horseshoe shaped halls with several levels of balconies, it is impossible to provide rich reverberant sound for the rear seat rows under the balconies. In our concept, this challenge is overcome by detaching the balconies from the surrounding walls whereby the reverberance can drizzle down from behind to the remote seat rows and provide a high sense of acoustic envelopment.
A world-class cultural service may only be provided with a well-functioning infrastructural design of the new building complex. We placed the service functions in the inner, circular core of the building layout. The backstage and the back off house remain hidden from the public, and a high degree of flexibility can be provided in the technical service of each performance area.