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The "Charming Curve" Harbin Opera House Named The Best B...

The "Charming Curve" Harbin Opera House Named The Best Building of the Year

The Harbin Opera House is a landmark building in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China. The building has an external envelope made of a steel structure modeled in an irregular hyperbolic shape. The Harbin Opera House includes 1,600 grand theaters, 400 small theaters, several underground garages, and ancillary facility rooms. The project received an investment of 150 million Yuan

The outside of the Harbin Opera House, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China

The Harbin Opera House is a landmark building in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China. The building has an external envelope made of a steel structure modeled in an irregular hyperbolic shape. The Harbin Opera House includes 1,600 grand theaters, 400 small theaters, several underground garages, and ancillary facility rooms. The project received an investment of 150 million Yuan (23 million USD).

Over 50,000 architects from around the world named the Harbin Opera House Building Of The Year (2016). Last year, over 55,000 readers of the well-known architecture news website ArchDaily, selected the top five projects for each of the fourteen categories from over 3,000 architecture projects. Then the best building of the year was selected via pooling on the website.

The crystal curtain wall of the Harbin Opera House, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China

The Harbin Opera House took six years from its design to completion. Upon its completion last October, the Harbin Opera House immediately attracted a lot of attention. In December 2015, it appeared on various major architecture magazine covers and reports, namely: the United States, Architectural Record (cover); Italy, Abitare (cover); Netherlands, MARK (cover); Japan, GA (reported); United Kingdom, ICON (reported); British Architectural Review (reported). The USA Architectural Record reported that the architecture has a "Charming Curve." The Dutch MARK reported: "The architecture derives from the natural environment and is a successful component of the landscape."

The skylight covering the lobby soars like a dragon spanning over the entire space. The transparent units composing its pyramid-like crystal curtain wall are like the dragon's scales and the pouring sunlight bathes the whole magnificent lobby. The rich shadows, the refined materials, and the dramatic spaces together create an unforgettable effect.

The main stage of the Harbin Opera House, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China

The curved walls inside and outside of the grand theater are made of warm ash trees. The simple material and exquisite shape achieved a world-class acoustic effect. The carefully designed lighting effects guide the audience, naturally sinking into the upcoming performance. The Harbin Opera House architecture remains, however, humble, open and accessible. People can even climb up this "White Iceberg" through the passage to the top of the grand theater, reaching the amphitheater and the viewing platform where they can enjoy the unique panorama of the sublime city of Harbin.

What do you think of the Harbin Opera House? What is the best architecture project in your opinion? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below.

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

The original article, published in Chinese, can be found here.

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Elle is an urbanist, inspirer, and translator. She was born in mid-south China and received her PhD in Urban and Regional Sciences at Texas A&M University in 2014. She is passionate about words and completes translation work in her free time. ...