Following its completion of Europe's first underwater restaurant in Norway, high-profile architecture firm Snøhetta has been selected to lead the design of the new Shanghai Grand Opera House in China. The building's design is influenced by an open fan and will feature an impressive spiraling staircase that offers public access to its rooftop.

The Shanghai Grand Opera House will be constructed in the city's Expo Houtan neighborhood, near the Huangpu River, which also hosts the recently-completed Tank Shanghai. It will boast expansive glazing to maximize natural light in the main hall and in the evening the three stage towers visible on the roof will be illuminated to glow like lanterns.

"Designed to bring artists and the public under a shared roof, the sweeping form of the new Opera House embodies the concept of movement," says the firm. "The helical roof surface evokes an unfolding fan, capturing the dynamism of dance and the human body.

"The spiraling, fanning motions extend throughout the project, into the lobby, the halls, and the three auditoriums. The Opera House's visual identity also references the same movements, with the new, clean logo characterized by a highly recognizable open fan pattern."

The Shanghai Grand Opera House's expansive rooftop space will offer views of Shanghai and the nearby river. Additionally, large-scale performances will be held up there and it will link to a public plaza.

The interior of the building will be lined with silk and decked out in oak floors, with a 2,000-seat main auditorium, a 1,200-seat secondary stage for more intimate performances, and a third 1,000-seat stage for experimental plays. Elsewhere, the building will include restaurants, galleries, museums, libraries, and multiple small cinemas.

Snøhetta was commissioned following an architecture competition and local firm ECAD is also involved too. The project is expected to be completed by 2023.

Source: Snøhetta

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