The Guangzhou Opera House is a complex of two buildings: the main 1,804-seat theater (at left) and a 443-seat multipurpose space (at right).
Hadid created several approach paths in an effort to connect the site to the city and allow multiple points of entry.
The paths continue through the site and between the two buildings, in a circulation network dotted by pools and plazas.
Supported by a steel framework, the structural skin features a series of triangular panels—white and black granite (75,422 pieces in all) and glass.
Public pathways and plazas on multiple levels encourage people to interact with the architecture during nonperformance hours.
Balconies and staircases hang off the concrete structure of the main theater. Wall and ceiling panels set into the structural steel lattice follow the same triangular geometry as the granite panels do on the exterior.
The smooth curving forms of the balconies in the main theater are formed from glass fiber-reinforced gypsum panels, cast in custom molds. The architects chose the material for its acoustic properties as well as its formability. The space, designed to showcase the varying tones of both Western and Chinese opera, has a reverberation time of 1.4 to 1.6 seconds.
The view from the 3,230-square-foot proscenium stage is dominated by the balconies and by 4,000 LED light fixtures scattered across the ceiling plane.