Nashville, Tenn.-based architect Gresham, Smith and Partners has unveiled its wild design for the Theatre Putuo Zhoushan Opera House, to be constructed on an engineered peninsula in the Zhejiang Province, southeast of Shanghai. A freeform concrete shell will be covered in a metal filigree space frame housing small LEDs that will allow the building to glow at night in a variety of colors and patterns.
The main interior lobby is designed to envelop patrons in a dream-like space. A helical grand stair and undulating wood wall suggest sea life in a reef. The skylit space uses layers of suspended circular translucent material to filter daylight, resulting in a sense of being under water.
The opera house will feature four venues: a 1,200-seat modern lyric theater, a 350-seat music hall, and two theaters designed for projection films that hold 100 and 60 seats. The new building will also house a small café, rehearsal and support space for the venues, a gift shop, offices for management, and below-grade parking.
Construction is expected to begin during the second quarter of 2009.