Wednesday, June 29, 2011

REVIEW: Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid

Guangzhou Opera House (Guangzhou), Sunday June 19

The opera house itself was enough reason for me to explore the arts and culture in Guangzhou… how untrue. The Guangzhou Opera House, designed by the famous Zaha Hadid was a HUGE disappointment. Just like the Guangdong Museum by the Rocco Design Architect, the design itself was not too bad. What really killed it was the quality of the materials and workmanship. The worst part of the architecture was the fact that the triangular granite-like tiles that cover the whole building were not laid seamlessly. For some reason, they were very uneven. The gaps between each tile were uneven and some were more raised than the others. In some parts, trapezoidal tiles were used to fix gaps.

The inside of the building fared better. The architectural language was clearer in the inside and more so inside the theatre. Fluidity and seamlessness were apparent but not necessarily practical. Balcony at the lobby section of the theatre has very deep “balustrade” that one has difficulty looking over them. Without exception, the material and workmanship were less than second rate.

I visited the opera house in the morning (to pick up my tickets) and in the evening (to watch White Haired Girl ballet); and have to say that in the evening, the building looked WAY better. The lighting from the inside and the reflection of the building on the water were very flattering. As I was coming out of the theatre, there was a monitor showing upcoming shows. One of them was some kind of Disney extravaganza show with Buzz Lightyear dancing the grind.

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