Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, who first visited China three decades ago, has traveled there regularly from her base in London in recent years to work on a number of projects and proposals. Recalling that first visit, Ms. Hadid observes, “The contrast to the Guangzhou we see today could not be greater.”
Most recently, she was in the southern Chinese city to officially open the Guangzhou Opera House, her first permanent building in the country. Nearly eight years in the making, the 1,800-seat venue dominates the riverfront of the prime Zhujiang New Town business district and makes a dramatic statement about the city’s continuing evolution. “It is a very rewarding experience to see the realized design and I am grateful to the city of Guangzhou,” she says “There are very few places in the world today where architects can find such forward-looking, enthusiastic clients with such passion for innovation.”
Technically, the visually striking 70,000-square-meter complex was built using both cutting-edge and near-obsolete construction methods. Though finished in steel, glass and concrete, the pair of asymmetric buildings — the main structures of the opera house — are possible because of a metal skeleton requiring 59 unique, custom-cast steel joints.
Take a magical journey through the Guangzhou Opera House