Mar 2, 2010

The Egg Building in China – National Centre for Performing Arts

water drop building in china ncpa beijing The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by Jason Pan

The Egg, more formally known as the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is located in Beijing, China. Technically, it’s an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake and vast expanse of green space, but the Egg or Water drop building is much easier on the tongue.

The building seats 5,452 people in three halls and is almost 12,000 square meters (129,000 sq ft.) in size. It was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. Construction started in December 2001 and the inaugural concert was held in December 2007.

the egg building in beijing china The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by JoeyWan

CONTROVERSY

The location, immediately to the west of Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People, and near the Forbidden City, combined with the theatre’s futuristic design, created considerable controversy. Paul Andreu countered that although there is indeed value in ancient traditional Chinese architecture, Beijing must also include modern architecture, as the capital of the country and an international city of great importance. His design, with large open space, water, trees, was specially designed to complement the red walls of ancient buildings and the Great Hall of the People, in order to melt into the surroundings as opposed to standing out against them.

The initial planned cost of the theatre was 2.688 billion Renminbi ($393.7 million USD). When the construction had completed, the total cost rose to more than 3.2 billion Renminbi ($468.7 million USD). At least 80% of the annual operational costs must be subsidized by the government for at least the first three years after the opening, and for the rest of its operational life, at least 60% of the annual operational cost must be subsidized by the government.

beijing centre for performing arts in china The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by Constantin B.

THE EXTERIOR

The Dome
The dome measures 212 meters (696 ft) in east-west direction, 144 meters (472 feet) in north-south direction, and is 46 meters (151 ft) high. The exterior showcases an ingenious material integration of over 18,000 titanium plates and over 1,000 sheets of ultra-white glass, a low-iron glass known for its high rate of light transmission.

titanium plates exterior national centre for performing arts The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by thewamphyri

The Lake
Taking an area of 35,500 square meters (377,000 sq ft), the mirror-like lake surrounding the Centre combines with the silent oval shell to create an atmosphere of tranquility surrounding the artistic vigor and passion within.

The Green Belt
Around the lake is a 39,000 square meter (420,000 sq ft) green belt, affording the surrounding neighborhood a highly desirable sense of serenity amid the hustle and bustle of a modern city and keeping the NCPA in a tranquil green garden.

big metal glass dome in beijing china The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by dchoy

THE INTERIOR

Guests arrive in the building after walking through a hallway that goes underneath the lake. The titanium shell is broken by a glass curtain in north-south direction that gradually widens from top to bottom. Stretching 80 meters beneath the outdoor lake, the Underwater Corridor provides an enchanting passage to the Centre’s grand hall. The glass ceiling allows the light to shimmer through the lake water and create an otherworldly wonderland for visitors coming from the north entrance.

glass curtain walls ncpa beijing china The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by chicagopig/minime

The Opera House
The magnificent Opera House is mainly used to stage operas, dance dramas, ballets, and large-scale shows. The arc-shaped metal net wall of the auditorium changes the lights and shadows according to different circumstance to bring the audience into the immersed artistic space with the development of plots. The surface of the ballet stage is made of Oregon timber and its triple-layer construction ensures the greatest possible resilience, helping to protect the feet of dancers. The Opera House can seat 2,416 people.

the opera hall in the egg building The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by dchoy

The Concert Hall
Exuding an air of serenity and refinement, the silver white Concert Hall is the venue for mainly large symphonic and national music performances. The audience can enjoy all performances from any angle. The Concert Hall is home to a giant pipe organ, the “Hall Guardian”, which is believed to be the largest of its kind in China with 94 stops and an impressive array of 6,500 pipes. The over-100-ton white ceiling of the Concert Hall is specially designed to embody an ideal integration between architectural and acoustic aesthetics. The Concert Hall seats 2,017 people.

the music hall in the egg shaped building china The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by Cherry Sung

The Theatre
The Theatre is a tribute to the traditional theatre atmosphere of warmth and hospitality, and stages primarily traditional Chinese operas, stage plays and national song and dance. The vertical stripes in purple, dark red, orange and yellow regularly alternate with each other on the walls to express a sense of vividness in quiet, and imagination in realization. The Theater Hall is used for plays and the Beijing opera. It has 1,040 seats

the theatre hall insdie the national centre for performing arts The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by Cherry Sung

THE FIFTH SPACE

Among the venues at the National Centre for the Performing Arts are a host of public spaces that are designed to amaze and stimulate. Jointly known as “The Fifth Space”, they include the Underwater Corridor, the Olive Hall, an exhibition gallery, a resource centre, a press room, a terrace lounge, souvenir shops and cafes.

the egg shaped building in china fifth space The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by Constantin B.

national centre for the performing arts interior The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by chicagopig/minime

the chinese ncpa interior The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by Constantin B.

the cafe inside the egg building1 The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by chicagopig/minime

the fifth space ncpa china The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by Constantin B.

the water drop building interior in beijing china The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by Constantin B.

SOURCES
– The National Centre for Performing Arts: Official Page
– Wikipedia: National Centre for the Performing Arts (China)

huge oval shaped building in china The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by kubse

the chinese national centre for the performing arts beijing The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by cybercar4u

national centre for performing arts beijing china The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by arndalarm

chinese egg looking building ncpa beijing The Egg Building in China   National Centre for Performing Arts
Photograph by keliubassoon



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