- Overrall View of National Grand Theater
The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA for short), colloquially described as 'The Egg', is an opera house in Beijing, People's Republic of China. The Centre, an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake, seats 6,500 people in three halls and is almost 12,000 square meters (2.96 acres) in size. It was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. The construction started in December 2001 and the inaugural concert was held in December 2007.
The location, immediately to the west of Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People, and near the Forbidden City, combined with the theatre's futuristic design, created considerable controversy. Paul Andreu countered that although there is indeed value in ancient traditional Chinese architecture, Beijing must also include modern architecture, as the capital of the country and an international city of great importance. His design, with large open space, water, trees, was specially designed to complement the red walls of ancient buildings and the Great Hall of the People, in order to melt into the surroundings as opposed to standing out against them.
The exterior of the theater is a titanium accented glass dome that is completely surrounded by a man-made lake. It is said to look like an egg floating on water. It was designed as an iconic feature, something that would be immediately recognizable, like the Sydney Opera House. The dome measures 212 meters (695.5 feet) in east-west direction, 144 meters (472.4 feet) in north-south direction, and is 46 meters (150.9 feet) high. The main entrance is at the north side. Guests arrive in the building after walking through a hallway that goes underneath the lake. The titanium shell is broken by a glass curtain in north-south direction that gradually widens from top to bottom.
Internally, there are three major performance halls: the Opera Hall is used for operas, ballet, and dances and seats 2,416; the Music Hall seats 2,017 seats; the Theater Hall is used for plays and the Beijing opera, and it has 1,040 seats; the initial planned cost of the theatre was 2.688 billion RMB.
The completion of China's National Centre for the Performing Arts is a historic accomplishment, demonstrating the country's strengths and marking a new chapter in the country's development. As the foremost national performing arts institution, the Centre is made possible by the solid support and guidance from both Central and Beijing municipal governments. Following the mandate of 'For the People, For the Arts, For the World', the Centre is devoted to becoming the national center for the performing arts, a grand platform for international cultural exchanges and a vanguard of arts education as well as an important foundation for the creative cultural scene in China.
Ticket for Daily Visit:
CNY 30 (adult)
CNY 15 (kids under 1.2 m)
Tuesday to Sunday & National Holidays: 9:00 - 17:00 (admission before 16:30)
A. Take Bus No. 1, 5, 10, 22, 37, 52, 728, 802 or 205 (Night) and get off at Tiananmen West (Tiananmen Xi).
B. Take Bus No. T2, T4, T7, 9, 44, 67, 301, 337, 673, 808, 901 or 212 (Night) and get off at Qianmen West (Qianmen Xi).
A. Take Subway Line 1 and get off at Tiananmen West (Tiananmen Xi).
B. Take Subway Line 2 and get off at Heping Gate (He Ping Men) or Front Gate (Qian Men)