About a year after our first visit to the Guangzhou Opera House by Zaha Hadid Architects, MovingCities returned to the site to check on the completed building. One doesn’t need an expert eye to understand that the finishing has been rushed so to coincide with the opening of Guangzhou Asian Games last November. From a look at the facade and the tectonics one notices a clear gap between the hyper-digital intentions and it handicraft execution. The Opera House feels more like of a mock-up rather than of a masterpiece. Unintentionally, and in line with its concept, the concert hall is already eroding.
In a recent article in Macao Magazine Simon Yu – Zaha Hadid’s project architect on site – stated the following:
“We liked erosion and stones. It worked well next to the Pearl River. The metaphor is two pebbles picked from the bed of the river and placed on the river bank”.
As nothing to the building is straight or regular, the construction was a daunting task for both the foreign architects as their local partner, the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC):
“It was very difficult at the start,” says Yu. “Our Chinese partner had not done it before. They were keen to try and were up to the challenge. We learn from each other and were humbled by the people.”
MovingCities walked around, through and under the building and tried to have more attention for the form and the flow of people than for the finishing.
Pictures by movingcities.org