Hangzhou Yuhang Opera, Hangzhou, China, project: Henning Larsen
Project: Henning Larsen; Local Architect: Hangzhou Architecture & Civil Engineering Design Institute; Partner Responsible: Claude Godefroy and Elva Tang; Project Manager: Hannah Zhang; Project Team: Allen Shakir, Chee Yuen Choy, Dominik Mrozinski, David Babul Mikkelsen, Ewa Bryzek, Emma Wang, Kasia Piekarczyk, Ka Tam, Melissa Sandoval, Michelle Tam, Peng Jia, Richard Wood, Thomas Bormann; Drawings: Henning Larsen; Engineer: Buro Happold; Theater Planning: Kunkel; Acoustic Consultant: MBBM; Landscape Architect: Henning Larsen, Bassinet Turquin Paysage, AECOM; Façade Consultant: Inhabit Group; Contractor: Shanghai Construction No.4 (Group); UHPC Panel: Beilida; Bamboo Auditorium Relief Wall: Dasso China; Façade Glass: China Southern; Auditorium Seating: Dafeng; Client: City Government of Yuhang District in Hangzhou. Photos: Philippe Ruault
Hangzhou is one of China’s seven ancient capitals standing along the banks of West Lake, and now a famous domestic and international tourist destination.
One of its latest goals is to increase its population as quickly as possible from 11 to 20 million inhabitants.
Based on a study carried out by the late Henning Larsen in partnership with Hangzhou Civil and Architectural Design Institute, Buro Happold Engineering, Turquin Paysage and AECOM, a new complex has been built that covers an area of 70,000 m².
Backing onto a pool of water it is an extremely striking and quite unmissable sight for anybody walking along the banks of the East Lake not far from the new high-speed railway station, which certainly attracts plenty of people to the district and to the park itself, whose trees, dunes, rest/relaxation areas and sports facilities are all set around the new building.
The construction is equipped with a wide range of cultural facilities, including a 1400-seat auditorium, a 500-seat theatre, an exhibition centre and numerous ancillary structures.
The most striking thing about this huge construction is the refined elegance of the interior space, even more striking is the way it is incorporated in the landscape, drawing our eyes up towards the top of the roof in constant ascension that almost blurs the boundary between the outside and inside.
This magnificent piece of architecture from our age is another steppingstone towards the kind of modernity that is driving along competition between Chinese cities.