Guangzhou Opera House / Zaha Hadid

© Sharwe

Our chinese reader Sharwe shared with us some actual photographs of the construction process of this 70,000 sqm Opera House designed by Zaha Hadid in , . With this building, which includes 1,800 seats in the Grand theatre, entrance lobby & lounge, Multifunction hall, other auxiliary facilities & support premises, Zaha is trying to confirm this city as one of Asia’s cultural centres.

More images after the break.

© Sharwe
© Sharwe
© Sharwe
© Sharwe
Cite: Saieh, Nico. "Guangzhou Opera House / Zaha Hadid" 25 Aug 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I liked the building from the outside and how the angles worked but the inside is a lot more impressive – I think it is striking, I hope people are being encouraged to go inside.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    People always talk about Zaha’s work with a special tone, I think she is so avantagard, it doesn’t look like anything i ever seen,,, sometimes this project makes me remember THe Essen Opera House of Alvar Aalto, It’s so elegant, but most of all is the spatial considerations she took for the foyer, halls and staircase, greeting !!!!!!!!!!

  3. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    Very depressing and chunky from the outside, the inside saves it somehow, you would expect that a cultural centre would express its purpose by leaving some hints on the exterior on the experience that awaits the visitors!

  4. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    I was never a Zaha fan, but it’s always fascinating and a pleasure to see her work become reality and imagine how much work must have gone into working out the technical aspects of it. Whether you like it or not, these images are quite something to look at.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    zaha’s work is not my cup of tea. most of the times i’m shocked how indifferently she’s handling the different building side: from Basels old town to a chinese boomtown: it’s all done with the same instruments.

    but this one really impresses me a lot and it will give the rather anonymous looking quarter a point of identification

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I watched a ballet performance there four months ago. I am not her fan but I have to say the experience was wonderful, like a dream.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Lovely although I wish they have treated the ground as advanced as the building, because right now its too much concrete when you are looking down, and too much of the same thing takes away from the building.
    But when im not seeing the ground from far away and inside it’s a hot project. Love dynamic form and Zaha is very good at it.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0 matter what, one thing for sure. Guangzhou is a very lucky city to have this architecture contributed to its society.

    And thumbs up for china, the fact that they appreciates and trusted architecture to such scale. I mean, Hadid. wow.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Thats just amazing… Most people can’t event get a box right!
    Very “immersive” photos. I can only imagine what a visit there would be like.

    The Maxxi in Rome seems clumsy compared to this building. the stair cases are much more convincing that Maxxi.

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        that is true, the stringers span must be done with steel….
        maybe concrete… I can’t remember

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i would LOVE to see this set of construction documents. the tolerances on the panels on the outside are artful. dispute the design all you want but the ability to take her forms and build it, seemingly, could not be an easy feet. kudos to the builders.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    look at that white strip running along the inside face of the steel structural skeleton – 2nd interior shot – its a concealed rain drainage gutter… horribly detailed.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      you can see these in almost all of the interior photos. it is kind of strange that they took these in through the lobby and not through the back of house space…

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        exactly. either that or utilise the hollow section of the structural members. the gutter system is obviously an after thought and the white only emphasises it further, as a detached, gutter system.

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I concur with many comments about it being depressing from the outside but look on the ‘bright’ side – it is an opera house and will be mostly appreciated at night – when it will look stunning from the inside.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I didn’t think I was going to like this, but I’m actually really impressed. The detailing gone into the structure seems very considered, especially the interior. Its one thing to design organic forms in the computer but to successfully translate it to real life is truly masterful.

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Good God. We are returning to Fascist 1940′s German brutalist architecture. THis time its with curves. Doesn’t anyone see how unfriendly these building are to humans. It might as well be a stadium for sports, maybe a factory for spare parts or even just another car showroom. Zaha has made her mark in earlier buildings, now she is just churning out blocks of blobs.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      I wouldn’t exactly call Speerian buildings “brutalist” (though the bunkers in Germany at the time may have resembled parts of this building), but I agree about the lack of human warmth. I think that’s mostly a problem with the exterior – the interior is a little less oppressive.

  15. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Buildings like this will never live up to the standard or beauty of buildings like Le Palais Garnier

  16. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Hadid’s love of the big picture belies her inability to work at the level of the detail. Having said that, I like the interaction between the center and the skin.

  17. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I was there past March and the finishing is so bad. Many bad angles where the traingular stones do not meet at good angles and the stones are not cut correctly

    Seems that they werent really accurate about the stone traingles when designing.

    But it does look impressive from afar:)

  18. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    textbook hadid, but the photos do make it look a bit grim. A few blue skies on those photos and half of the above comments may have been a little nicer?

  19. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    im not big with zaha & blob but this is just freaking awesome! and the workmanship is not bad at all

  20. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the exterior aesthetics and public spaces leave a lot to be desired. I really enjoy the actual opera house space, but the other spaces are just too cold and ubiquitous. She has an undeniably brilliant hold on the creation of complex spaces, but she still seems, for the most part, humanistically ignorant.

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