In this project for an opera house and cultural center, the functional constraints of this building, planned for a location on an artificial island in a key Emirate, were extrapolated into a score of programmatic strips, each containing the main activities and related spaces. The strips begin with a glass avenue that provides direct access from the subway, parking lot, and buses. Its mezzanines offer a vertical spectacle, while its ground floor gathers together crowds that make use of different public services. A restaurant is located between the glass avenue and the garden of the opera. more
Vertical foyers overlook the glass avenue and encompass coatrooms, box offices, bars or buffets, and suspended gardens. The border between the glass avenue and the vertical foyers is articulated by lighting for the avenue in the form of handrails, stairs, and so forth.
Auditoria act as an acoustical strip, accommodating each audience in a minimum volume with maximum visual access. This strip also accommodates VIP rooms, lavatories, and other services and allows for small, localized future programs at either end.
A strip coincides with the proscenium, acting as a central artery servicing the whole complex. The stages provide maximum flexibility and technical potential. A strip contains the backstage area, assembly hall, rehearsal spaces, and scenery workshops. Wherever possible, rehearsal and workshop spaces are provided with daylight. A final strip serves artists and staff, and contains dressing rooms and related spaces (which are organized along the balconies of a four-story artists' concourse, thereby avoiding the repetitiveness of corridors), as well as administrative offices that benefit from direct views of the opera garden. back
Competition, fall 2005
33,000 sq. meters
Culture Ministry, UAE
Lead Designer: Bernard Tschumi. Key Personnel: Phu Hoang, Kim Starr, Remy Cointet, Dominic Leong, Chris Lee, Angela Co, Yang Yang back