Architects: gmp architekten
Location: Qingdao, Shandong, China
Design Team: Meinhard von Gerkan, Stephan Schütz, Nicolas Pomränke
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 60,000 sqm
Photographs: Christian Gahl
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 gives the landscape a unique, often mystical, setting.
The style of the building relates to the mentioned natural spectacle, with the massif and the lightness of the clouds reflected in the appearance of the Grand Theater. It rises from the landscape like a mountain — 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 a concert and a multifunction hall as well as a media center and a hotel are integrated into the complex.
The foyer of the opera house offers direct views of the sea. 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.
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 flexibly designed so that events of different nature can be performed.