Glass and titanium is surrounded by water
The NCPA houses three performance facilities- The Opera Hall, The Concert Hall and The Theatre Hall. The venue accommodates about 5,500 visitors at a time. The building consists of a glass and titanium skin and is approximately 700 x 475x 150, meaning that the building exceeds 330,000 square feet.
The NCPA operates as a partially subsidized venture between the central Chinese government, the local Beijing government and the Centre itself. About 60% of the facility’s operating costs come from governmental funds. About 70% of the tickets for events at the venues are reserved and priced for ordinary Chinese citizens. The remaining tickets are priced according to market demand.
The building’s exterior consists of more than 18,000 titanium panels and 1,000 “white” glass panels. The titanium panels are located at the ends of the “egg”, giving the visual impression of a theater curtain being drawn back to reveal the performances inside.
The NCPA is located immediately west of Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People. The performance halls in the building each have their own decorating theme. The Opera Hall is predominantly white and silver. The Concert Hall is predominantly gold. The Theatre Hall is decorated in red, following traditional Chinese style.
The building was designed to reflect the buildings around it. It incorporates a large green space around the building, which is open to the public. The building also has underground parking. The complex creates a relaxing oasis in the middle of a city of nearly 9 million people.
Construction of the glass and titanium building took more than 5 years, and took place between 2001 and 2007. Construction was delayed for a time, following the collapse of an airport terminal in Paris that used similar design features. Construction resumed after minor design changes, and the NCPA welcomed its first visitors in 2007.
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Photo Credit: Wojtek Gurak, via Flickr.com