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Shenzhen Opera House

Xinan is a mountainous region facing the sea. Within a radius of 100 km, it is surrounded by various intriguing forms of hills. Such beauty and richness is the source of beneficial energy for people living here. Therefore it was named Baoan (i.e. treasure and peace). Shenzhen Shekou is surrounded by some beautiful mountains that have been admired by people (painters + poets) for a very long time. The neighbouring ones around the site are Dananshan and Shekoushan. Nantou Ancient City as a historic walled city nearby dated back to the Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD331) with the current walled city built in 1394. The old wall was round in plan as this was the best shape as a sea defense fortress.

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Our design proposed for the Shenzhen Opera House would like to pay tribute to the history of this city and elevate it to the next level. Typical Opera House model is a huge inward looking black box that only welcomes audiences, a bit like a walled city. Because of its big massing it will usually occupy a big piece of land. People not seeing shows/ passing by can only walk around it.


We would like to invert this model and invite everyone to enjoy the space in between those performance masses – it will forms new civic park in the heart of the opera house and complete the accessible waterfront from Shenzhen Bay Sports Park to Shekou Mountain Park.

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The opera hall, concert hall and small opera hall will be further sunken to ground and covered by a green roof blending into the whole landscape as if three new mountains responding to the Shekoushan nearby. Visitors can freely walk up the mountains to enjoy the view and air around on the white ribbons, that would also link up to the lobby, public service and cultural & creativity area in the building. There is also a smaller mountain-like building on the east of the site as the urban art parlour welcoming the vistors.

In this proposal, we have highlighted the multi-functional theatre and located it almost 30m above ground. The space will connected to two sky lounges and a 360 skywalk that would enjoy the best sea view, mountain view and city view from the site.

We have designed a cloud-like architecture hovering above the three mountains with almost like a “floating walled city” above. Its openings are parametrically calculated based on the functions within. Its square-like frame design is trying to borrow the images from the Chinese bricklaying pattern and window frame texture.

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Team: Bong Yeung, Sim Fong Lai, Ardis Wong, Sandy Kwok, Benjamin Hoong, Vanessa Wong

Category: Urban

Year: 2020

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