Nouvel and SANAA Win in Shenzhen

John Hill
22. March 2021
Shenzhen Opera House by Ateliers Jean Nouvel (Image via Shenzhen Daily)

The Shenzhen Municipal Planning and Natural Resources Bureau has announced the winners of two international design competitions: for the Shenzhen Opera House and the Shenzhen Maritime Museum, two of ten new cultural attractions in the city.

Ateliers Jean Nouvel won the competition for the Shenzhen Opera House with a scheme titled "Light of the Sea." As quoted in an announcement by the Shenzhen Government, the jury described the winning design as "very original, inspirational and creative around the themes of embracing the music and the sea with architecture, combining abstract and concrete concepts and integrating coasts, communities, buildings and parks."

The site for the Shenzhen Opera House in Dongjiaotou is a prominent one, as the building will extend into the sea on a peninsula and overlook the skyline of Futian CBD to the east, Hong Kong across the water to the south, and the mountains to the west. Given its location, the government's announcement describes the future building as "the most important one of the 10 planned major cultural facilities in the city."

Construction of the 222,000-square-meter opera house is expected to start this year and be completed in 2024.

Some of the other "Ten Cultural Facilities of the New Era" include MAD Architects' Shenzhen Bay Culture Park, which was unveiled in June 2020, and the Shenzhen Natural History Museum, being designed by 3XN, B+H, and Zhubo Design after the team won a competition last year.
Shenzhen Maritime Museum by SANAA (Image via Shenzhen Daily)

SANAA, the firm of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, won the competition for the Shenzhen Maritime Museum, which will be located on the Dapeng Peninsula, about 75 kilometers east of the opera house. Per the same announcement, "the judging panel thought the design reflects the concept of a floating architecture that enables the museum to merge into the mountain and sea in a gentle and modest way, and to blend into the unique geological environment of Dapeng Peninsula."

The announcement did not indicate a construction timeline but did say SANAA's scheme has been recommended for implementation.

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