National Centre for the Performing Arts
Paul Andreu Architecte
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.
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
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.
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
Facts about National Centre for the Performing Arts
Paul Andreu with ADPi and BIAD
The Grand National Theater Committee
Last updated: December 17, 2012