Snøhetta to create monumental opera house for Shanghai, to be open all year, 24/7

by Andrew Manns | 03 Apr 2019

The Chinese government has commissioned Scandinavian architecture firm Snøhetta to design the Shanghai Grand Opera House.

Described by the architects as an "accessible canvas for global visitors, local citizens, and artists", the new opera building, which will rise on the banks of the Huangpu River, will comprise a 2,000-seat auditorium, two smaller performance halls, restaurants, exhibition areas, libraries, and cinemas.

Key structure elements of the future landmark will be its radial, fan-like roof – shaped to imitate the dynamism of dancers – as well as its sprawling, riverside concourse.

"The Shanghai Grand Opera House is a natural progression of our previous work with designing performing arts centres," remarked Snøhetta’s founder Kjetil Trædal Thorsen.

He added: "It is a product of our contextual understanding and values, designed to promote public ownership of the building for the people of Shanghai and beyond."

Once complete, the opera house will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in order to stimulate and maintain public engagement.

The project – anticipated to be completed in 2023 – is part of the cultural revitalisation and public diplomacy initiatives outlined in China's 13th Five-Year Plan.

Snøhetta  Shanghai 
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Snøhetta tapped to create monumental opera house in Shanghai
The Chinese government has commissioned Scandinavian architecture firm Snøhetta to design the Shanghai Grand Opera House.