National Grand Theater

The project covers an area of 118,930 square meters and is composed of the main building of the National Grand Theater, a pool with passages under it on the north and south sides of the building, an underground parking lot and greenery. The project is divided into two parts, one of which is to build the National Grand Theater, and the other of which is to improve the environment of the western part of Tian'anmen Square and construct an underground parking lot. The National Grand Theater has a floor area of 149,520 square meters and involves a total investment of 2.68838 billion yuan, which will be paid through special funds in the central government budget. The project to improve the environment of the western part of Tian'anmen Square and construct the parking lot covers a floor area of 44,678 square meters and involves a total investment of 254.38 million yuan, 60%, or 152 million yuan, of which will be equally shared by the State Development Planning Commission (now the National Development and Reform Commission ) and the Beijing Municipal Government, each contributing 76.3 million yuan. The remaining 40% will come from bank loans to the Proprietary Committee of the National Grand Theater. In addition, the Beijing Municipal Government will pay 890 million yuan needed for preliminary work on the project, such as building municipal works, demolishing local buildings and resettling their inhabitants, and relocating the boiler room and the laundry center of the Great Hall of the People.

Construction work on the National Grand Theater is scheduled to take four years. Although we will not rush work at the sacrifice of quality, we will make every effort to complete construction in 2004 and formally begin putting on performances in 2005.

The main building of the National Grand Theater consists of an exterior shell, within which are a 2,416-seat opera house, a 2,017-seat concert hall, a 1,040-seat theater, a lobby and other supporting facilities. The exterior is a shell in the shape of a half ellipsoid with a long east-west axis of 212.20 meters and a short south-north axis of 143.64 meters. It is 46.285 meters tall, and it reaches to a maximum underground depth of 32.50 meters. Most of the shell is covered by titanium panels, and it is broken in the middle by a curtain of glass that opens gradually from top to bottom. The pool surrounding the ellipsoid shell covers an area of 35,500 square meters, the main north entrance is an 80-meter-long corridor under the pool. The south entrance and other passages are under the pool too. The pool is surrounded by leisure squares made up of large greeneries.

 

◆ A resolution was adopted at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Fourteenth Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to build the National Grand Theater in October 1996.

◆ The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee decided to build the National Grand Theater in October 1997.

◆ The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee decided to establish the Leading Group for the Construction of the National Grand Theater and the Proprietary Committee for the National Grand Theater Project in January 1998.

◆ The State Council approved the National Grand Theater Project in April 1998.

 

◆ International competition for the architectural design began in April 1998. After two rounds of competition and three revisions, several architectural designs were selected for recommendation to Chinese leaders based on solicited opinions from many architectural designers, theater technical experts, artists, deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) and the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, and members of the National Committee and the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

◆ After discussion, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee agreed on July 22, 1999, to the plan designed by A é roports de Paris of France in cooperation with Qinghua University.

◆ The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee discussed and approved the feasibility study on February 15, 2001. 

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