The Disgrace that is The National Grand Theatre of Beijing

Essay by Keir February 2006

download word file, 2 pages 3.8 3 reviews

Downloaded 41 times

The National Grand Theatre, situated west of the Great People's Hall, occupies an area of 118,900 square metres, and sits on a construction site of 149,500 square meters. It costs 3.8 billion Yuan, an amount which could have subsidised five million poor students' educations.

To show how arrogant and out of touch the regime is, and how careles it is to the needs of the poeple it rules, it has ignored every expert, all of whom has strongly opposed and resisted this project. Experts have questioned the need to spend over 3 billion Yuan to construct such a gigantic entertainment facility, even as the unemployed in Beijing go without basic food and shelter. Moreover, the French architect in charge, Paul Andreu, has had no experience in designing theatres. In fact, on May 23, 2004 the roof of the new terminal at Charles de Gaulle Airport, designed under Andreu's supervision, collapsed killing six and multiple injuries.

The public prosecutors' office in Paris, France said on May 29, 2004 that Paul Andreu was suspected of being involved in fraudulent practices in his efforts to win the bid for the National Grand Theatre in Beijing.

Just by looking at the Opera House one can immediately recognise that it is completely out of harmony with the traditional culture of Beijing. So much for the CCP's respect of the ancient capital of six dynasties in Chinese history. In addition, many consider it a complete waste of money; one of style over substance. Michael Kirkland from The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada commented that this design had flushed architectural language and basic scientific principles down the toilet. In fact, so stupid was the end design that it had to go underground as deep as six to eight stories.

Architectural Review, the world's most renowned...