ateliers jean nouvel has won an international design competition to complete a new opera house in shenzhen, china. named ‘the light of the sea’, the winning scheme was selected ahead of a number of other established firms, including bjarke ingels group and kengo kuma & associates. the building seeks to enhance the city’s waterfront promenade with a fluid design that responds gracefully to its context. surrounded by water on three sides, the institution will include vibrant outdoor terraces to activate the project and its surroundings.
all images © ateliers jean nouvel
jointly organized by shenzhen municipality’s bureau of planning and natural resources, bureau of culture, sports, tourism, radio and television, and bureau of public works, the competition attracted interest from some of the world’s biggest firms, with jean nouvel’s firm eventually coming out on top. in addition to a 2,300-seat opera hall, the competition-winning design includes a 1800-seat concert hall, a 800-seat operetta hall, and a multi-functional theater with a total of 400 seats. the project also includes other cultural spaces as well as a stage design and production center.
the architects explain that the auditorium of the opera house will be visible through a spacious foyer that leads to it. surrounded by the china sea, this sense of transparency will also contextualize the building within its coastal setting. in addition, mother-of-pearl — a smooth shining iridescent material that looks wet even when dry — will feature in the opera house’s auditorium — highlighting the curve of the balconies or the acoustic geometries of the walls. see other projects by ateliers jean nouvel on designboom here, including plans for a subterranean resort in saudi arabia.
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name: shenzhen opera house
location: shenzhen, guangdong, china
architect: ateliers jean nouvel
status: competition winning scheme
philip stevens I designboom
mar 22, 2021
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