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National Grand Theater

Beijing Attractions: National Grand Theater

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National Grand Theater 国家大劇院

National Grand Theater, Beijing, China.
  • Designed by French architect Paul Andreu
  • Spectacular glass and titanium egg
  • Circle in a square geometry
  • Completely renovated for 2007 opening
  • aka "The Egg"
  • 5 years in construction
  • Located besides the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square

The spectacular glass and titanium National Grand Theater (aka National Centre for the Performing Arts NCPA) opened in 2007 in Tiananmen Square besides the Great Hall of the People. The egg-shaped Opera House, designed by French architect Paul Andreu, was controversial as many local critics felt it was not "Chinese" enough in appearance.

The 2,416 seat opera house has 200,000 square meters in floor space and aims to provide an iconic building for China's capital on a par with the iconic Sydney Opera House. The building is surrounded by a pool and gives the impression of floating on the surface of the water. The main north entrance is an 80m corridor running under the pool. The south entrance and other entrances are all built under the surrounding water.

National Grand Theater, Beijing.

National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, China

Paul Andreu's design won the 1998-99 international competition to construct the new building. Andreu is well known as a designer of airports around the world including Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai International Airport, and the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris.

The relection of the theater in the water surrounding creates the egg-shaped impression and hence the the building's recently coined nickname of the "The Egg". When the building is lit at night the effect is even more dramatic.

The National Grand building also includes a 2,017-seat concert hall and a smaller 1,040 capacity theater.

The theater will open with trial productions by Chinese theater companies to test the state-of-the-art acoustics and theatrical machinery. Performances will include ballet, opera, Peking Opera and drama, before international companies are invited to perform beginning in 2008.

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Grand National Theater Access - how to get to the Grand National Theater

National Grand Theater - National Centre for the Performing ArtsĀ (NCPA)
Tel: 6606 4705

The nearest station is Tiananmen Xi on Subway Line 1.

National Grand Theater, Beijing.

National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, China

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