The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is a famous arts complex, located in the Xicheng District of Beijing, People’s Republic of China, next to Tiananmen Square, a political center and the Great Hall of the People, the People’s Republic of China’s parliament building.
The structure is a more than $400 million complex and it includes a concert hall, opera house and theater, all situated within an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass, often seen as resembling a floating pearl or a duck egg. Built between 2001 and 2007, the complex represents one of the most important Chinese culture centers. It is surrounded by an artificial lake, can host up to 5,452 people in three halls and is approximately 12,000 m² in size. The complex was designed by Paul Andreu, a renowned French architect who is best known for having planned several airports worldwide. The floor area covers 219,400 m2, while the height reaches 46.28m. The structural system consists of representations of the value in ancient traditional Chinese architecture, combined with modern architecture, resulting in an area with large open space, water and trees. The dome is made up of more than 1,000 polycarbonate sheets.
The interior is made up of three important performance halls: the Opera Hall, which is used for operas, ballet or several dances and can host up to 2,416 people, the Music Hall (with 2,017 seats) and the Theater Hall, where plays and the Beijing opera performances are scheduled, having a number of 1,040 seats.
Despite the financial constraints and political censorship which is frequent in China, the National Centre for the Performing Arts has become a top national performance hall of its kind, officially being the biggest performing arts center in the entire world and one which can rival any arts complex hall in Europe or the United States.