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The Chinese National Grand Theatre (Beijing)

The Chinese National Grand Theatre (Beijing)

Gautier Battistella - 2009-10-26

The Chinese National Grand Theatre, a work by French architect Paul Andreu, welcomed on 25 September this year its first performance, The Red Detachment of Women, the famous Chinese revolutionary ballet. It will open its doors to the public in January 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympic Games. An avant-premiere visit...

Like an air bubble, the building floats on an artificial lake, a stone's throw from Tiananmen Square.  After much controversy and titanic work (especially the artificial lake), the worksite began in 1999 and has given birth to a smoothly elegant complex. 
Behind this work is French architect Paul Andreu, the designer in particular of Manilla domestic airport. Designed as a theatre complex, this imposing and light transparent island measuring some 149,500 sq. m. comprises a 2,416-seat opera house, a 2,017 concert-hall, and a 1,040-seat theatre, encased in a titanium and glass shell. Spectators enter by an underground gallery. 
 
'What I seek, in any project, is its internal coherence and intelligibility and, at the same time, its relationship with its surroundings', comments Paul Andreu. Any living work leaves the architect's hands incomplete: it has to be entrusted to the elements, to the wind and water, for it to be finished.'

The Chinese National Grand Theatre, a work by French architect Paul Andreu, welcomed on 25 September this year its first performance, The Red Detachment of Women, the famous Chinese revolutionary ballet. It will open its doors to the public in January 2008, the year of the Beijing Olympic Games. An avant-premiere visit...

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