DLR Group’s competition entry for the new Shenzhen Opera House is one of ten new major cultural facilities planned by the city in the next five years.
The Shenzhen Opera House is the most important one among them.
The project was awarded a 2021 American Architecture Award by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The opera house’s anticipated site is GFA of 222,000m2 on two plots separated by a major roadway. The north plot consists of apartments and offices while anchoring the complex in an urban context.
On the south plot prominently situated on the Shenzhen Bay and surrounded by water on three sides are the performance spaces, including a 2,300-seat Opera Hall, a 1,800-seat Concert Hall, an 800-seat Operetta Hall, and a 600-seat Multi-Functional Theater.
The Performance Halls emerge from the landscape as sculptural forms that are reminiscent of the beautiful bougainvillea petals of the Shenzhen national flower.
The large Opera House stands tallest as a beacon to the site that is visible to the mountain and across the Bay and makes an iconic but not imposing statement.
The visitor is encouraged to move through and around the site to experience the drama of the landscape. Each person becomes a spectator to art and culture within the building landscape before ever seeing a performance.
The dynamic natural processes of the site are heightened and enhanced through a landscape design strategy that calls attention to the distinctive location of the Opera on the River Pearl Delta and the unique natural environment of Shenzhen.
Negotiating the physical and dynamic relationships between the mountains and the sea, the landscape performs as an extension of the opera, creating outdoor spaces not only for people to gather, perform, and observe one another but also to observe and engage the performance of nature itself – the movement of water, the phenomena of atmosphere, and the ephemeral qualities of light.
Conceptually, the Opera House buildings and the site follow regenerative design principles and give more back to the environment than what they take from it.
The design strategy is to provide a resilient campus that builds capacity for self-reliance and survivability by performing with nature holistically.
Patrons of the campus experience water and thermal comfort at different scales on their journey throughout the site.
The Shenzhen Opera House with its integration of buildings, people, park, and water create a dynamic and active place that will be known as the most loved and visited Arts Complex around the world.
Project: Shenzhen Opera House Competition
Architects: DLR Group
Client: Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources of Shenzhen Municipality Bureau of Culture, Sports, Tourism, Radio and Television of Shenzhen Municipality Bureau of Public Works of Shenzhen Municipality