Tianjin Grand Theatre by GMP Architects

The structure is topped with a modern interpretation of a traditional Chinese roof.

TIANJIN – New opera house and theatre appears to rise from the surrounding ocean.

The structure, realized by von Gerkan, Marg und Partners Architects, spans a total area of 85,000-sq-m and includes a 1600-seat opera hall, a 1200-seat concert hall and smaller multifunctional 400-seat hall. It’s topped with a unique roof volume which resembles a shell and opens toward the sea.

‘The circular shape of the roof construction corresponds with the existing Museum of Natural History, so that an architectural dialogue of an earth-bound and a “floating” circular volume is created to both ends of the park,’ says project leader David Schenke of GMP. ‘Earth and sky represent a fundamental thinking in Chinese philosophy.’

Cars and busses can drop off visitors on the north and south sides, while the eastern side hosts a bus parking lot. The western edge, which faces the water, is reserved for pedestrians.

GMP Architects has also realized the opera houses in Qingdao and Chongqing, China. The firm won a competition in 2009 to realize the Tianjin theatre.

Photos courtesy of Christian Gahl

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