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March 3, 2011

The amazing Guangzhou Opera House

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An opera house was planned in Guangzhou as early as 1993, when mayor Lin Shusen championed the new commercial and cultural quarter by the river. Now unveiled to the world, the opera house is an amazing design by Zaha Hadid. The main building comprises a freestanding concrete auditorium set within an audacious granite and glass-clad steel frame. The exposed frame is a stunning thing, a kind of giant spider’s web protruding in several unlikely directions. Between this exposed steel skeleton and the auditorium lie the foyers which waltz around the auditorium, twisting, turning, ducking and weaving. Grand stairs slope and twist majestically from the black granite floors of the foyer up to the balconies and upper tiers of the auditorium. Audience members will find it hard to break away from these spectacular vistas and take their seats. “The idea,” says Hadid, “is that the building is really a part of the city and you’re aware of the city even when inside. It doesn’t just go away.”

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