All eyes are on China’s booming metropolis of Guangzhou. Situated on the Pearl River in Guangdong province, the third largest city in China has just debuted an opera house designed by acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid that will have culture vultures flocking to this southern province. The Guardian calls it “the world’s most spectacular opera house,” a stunning building that’s “at once highly theatrical and insistently subtle.”
Designed to look like pebbles smoothed by erosion in a stream, the Guangzhou Opera House evokes its riverside location. These pebble-like structures—decked in triangles of granite and glass—house the 1,800 seat auditorium and 400-seat multifunction hotel. The project took more than five years to complete at an estimated cost of 1 billion yuan.
To quote the website of Zaha Hadid's studio: “Adopting state of the art technology in its design and construction it will be a lasting monument to the New Millennium, confirming Guangzhou as one of Asia’s cultural centres.” The stunning structure has already served as an artistic muse; fashion designer Vivienne Tam was inspired by the opera house in creating her Fall '10 collection.