Snøhetta designs Shanghai opera house to look like “unfolding fan”

Norwegian architect Snøhetta has won an international competition to design the Shanghai Grand Opera House.

Snøhetta says the design "embodies the concept of movement", and contains a helical roof resembling an unfolding fan, with further fanning motions extending into the lobby, halls, and three auditoriums.

Snøhetta has worked in partnership with Shanghai-based architects, ECADI.

The Opera House is part of a new urban master plan for Shanghai, and will be built in the Expo Houtan neighbourhood, located at the convex bank in the riverside area near Huangpu River.

Snøhetta says the venue will host traditional and Chinese operas, classical concerts and more experimental performances for younger audiences.

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

"It is a culmination of the competence and insight gained through projects such as the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, the Busan Opera House in South Korea, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in Canada, and the Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers renovation in Paris.

"The Shanghai Grand Opera House is a product of our contextual understanding and values, designed to promote public ownership of the building for the people of Shanghai and beyond."

Recently, Snøhetta has designed Europe’s first underwater restaurant in Norway, a circular, energy-neutral hotel for Arctic Circle and has worked with Harvard and Skanska to make old buildings energy efficient.

Images courtesy of Snøhetta

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  1. The Golden Spiral gone haywire

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