Design //

Chinese Opera House Stuns As Winter Wonderland

MAD Architects are responsible for what is being called a stunning feat of architecture and music.

Akil Wingateby Akil Wingate

As Americans prepare to welcome President-elect Donald Trump into the White House, much of the world is curious about what his tilt in foreign policy will ultimately be. China certainly has been in the Donald’s crosshairs for some time now, but the spotlight has drawn attention to the country for more than just how it’s politcal-economic relationship with the U.S.

The Harbin Winter Festival, for example, is enjoying a healthy crossover of foreign tourists and journalists looking to soak up the arts and entertainment during what is now the largest ice and snow festival in the world.  Much of the festivities will be unveiled at the spectacular Harbin Opera House, an architectural specimen that truly rivals Sydney’s own opera house.

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MAD Architects, which are also responsible for some contributions to Kangbashi City, designed the white wintry behemoth. It sits by Songhua River and blends into its natural confines fluidly, resembling a spiraling dollop rising from the earth, almost as if the structure were whipped up into position by the unseen forces of nature.

Harbin Opera House in Harbin China. Photo courtesy of MAD Architects.

Harbin Opera House in Harbin China. Photo courtesy of MAD Architects.

Inside is just as spectacular, with an open air pavilion, a 1600 capacity grand theater, and a second theater that seats 400. Manchurian ash, timber and all forms of wood were used to render a winding collection of stairwells, bulbous walls and sloping ceilings.

Harbin-Opera-INTERIORBut of course, it is the opera. So, naturally, it’s soundproofed to the core, boasting a constellation of windows that insulate as well as draw and direct light throughout the space. The opera house currently enjoys both local and foreign visitors both for its stunning design as well as its seasonal program.