Wednesday, August 29, 2007
About to Hatch
The National Grand Theater is a striking contrast to Tiananmen across the street on Chang'an Avenue.
While the entrance to the Forbidden City features traditional Chinese architecture, with its tiled golden roofs, red walls, and straight lines, the National Grand Theater is the complete opposite.
Nicknamed "the egg", this opera house is a giant titanium dome surrounded by a shallow lake. When we went by it, workers were trying to fill the sectioned pools with water. Others were madly sanding down the bottom of the pools, creating a giant dust storm into the atmosphere.
Even though it isn't finished yet, the theater looks pretty cool, like an egg floating in the water.
Costing 2.688 billion yuan (US$356 million), it's designed by Frenchman Paul Andreu and it will hold 6,500 people.
The striking design was meant to put Beijing on the map, like what the Sydney Opera House did for the city Down Under.
But the giant egg might be overshadowed by the Bird's Nest or the National Stadium.
Hey -- wait a sec -- where did all these avian themes come from? Or is it just a coincidence?