Grand Theater, Qingdao, China
The Grand Theater is situated on the eastern side of the city of Qingdao between a bay in the Yellow Sea and Mount Laoshan (1,130m above sea level). Because of the unique situation of the massif directly by the sea, the Laoshan ridge is often wreathed in clouds, which creates a unique setting. The style of the building echoes the enchanting landscape, with the massif and the lightness of the clouds reflected in the appearance of the opera house. It rises from the landscape like a mountain — and a cloud-like roof seems to wreathe the four buildings. The raised terraces in the surrounding park are reminiscent of a mountain plateau, and take their bearings both from the sea and the mountains.
In addition to the opera house the Qingdao Grand Theater integrates a concert and a multifunction hall as well as a media center and a hotel. The opera house itself offers direct views of the coast. Audiences can enter the auditorium on two levels, either via the lower level, giving access to the large cloakrooms and the lower circle, or via the main foyer above with its large glass facades and view of the terrace, park and Yellow Sea. The walls and floor of the foyer are clad with local stone, which emphasizes the affinity of the building with the mountain. The stage and backstage areas are equipped to the highest international standards. They are flexibly designed so that events of different nature and scale can be performed.
International competition 2004 – 1st prize
Design Meinhard von Gerkan and Stephan Schütz with Nicolas Pomränke
Acoustics Müller BBM
Chinese partner practice ECADI
Client Qingdao Conson Industrial Corporation
Gross floor area 60,000 m²
Opera house 1,600 seats
Concert and multifunction hall 1,200 seats
Multifunction room 400 seats
Hotel 300 rooms
Construction period 2005–2010