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National Centre for the Performing Arts
Paul Andreu Architecte

September 06, 2010 /

Beijing, China

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Photo © Paul Andreu

The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is located in the heart of old Beijing, close to the Great Hall of the People, Tian'anmen Square and the ancient Forbidden City.

The titanium and glass shell, in the shape of an ellipsoid, houses an opera house, a concert hall, and two theaters, as well as public spaces. The structure, surrounded by an artificial lake and green lawns and gardens, is seen as a cultural island in the middle of a lake.
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Photo © Paul Andreu

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Photo © Paul Andreu

When illuminated at night the curved cut in the titanium shell is reminiscent of a stage curtain being pulled back.

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Photo courtesy The National Centre for the Performing Arts

From the north entrance you descend a grand staircase to the Underwater Corridor that stretches 80 meters beneath the outdoor lake. The glass ceiling allows the light to shimmer through the lake water.

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Photo: arcspace

The floor in the huge Foyer is covered in stone from 10 different regions in China, the interior walls are lined with tens of thousands of panels of jequitiba, also known as Brazilian rosewood. The huge floor to ceiling glass curtain bathes the interior in natural light or reveals the city's lights at night. Escalators take visitors to the many different levels.

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Photo courtesy The National Centre for the Performing ArtsGreen honeysuckle

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Photo © Paul Andreu

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Photo © Paul Andreu

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Photo courtesy The National Centre for the Performing Arts

The Opera House, seating 2,398, is the Centre's largest venue hosting elaborate productions. The Concert Hall, seating 2,019, hosts symphony orchestras and national music performances. The Concert Hall can accommodate up to 120 musicians and the chorus section up to 180 performers. The Theater, seating 1,035, hosts traditional Chinese operas and modern dramas. A multi-functional theater consists of two lifting platforms that can be elevated as needed.

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Photo courtesy The National Centre for the Performing ArtsThe Opera House

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Photo courtesy The National Centre for the Performing ArtsThe Concert Hall

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Photo courtesy The National Centre for the Performing ArtsThe Theater

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Photo courtesy The National Centre for the Performing ArtsThe Theater

Conceptually meant to evoke a rising sun or a pearl, the structure is often referred to as the egg.

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Sketch courtesy Paul Andreu Architects

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Rendering courtesy Paul Andreu ArchitectsPlan

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Rendering courtesy Paul Andreu ArchitectsSection

Facts about National Centre for the Performing Arts

Area:

219,400 m2

Architects:
Paul Andreu with ADPi and BIAD

Project management:

Felipe Starling

Project architects:

François Tamisier
Hervé Langlais
Mario Flory
Olivia Faury
Serge Carillon

Client:

The Grand National Theater Committee

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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