Hangzhou East Lake Opera




The Hangzhou East Lake Opera is part of a 133,000 m2 cultural center consisting of an opera, a small Theater, an art museum, a city planning museum, an exhibition center and an art school.

The complex’s overall design focuses on bringing the citizens of Hangzhou a diverse and lively neighborhood that includes a wide range of architectural experiences and public spaces. Some grand and iconic, some human scaled. In a symbolically significant gesture, the roof of the opera offers the citizens and visitors of Hangzhou a public destination in regional scale.

The design for the main interior spaces is meant to reflect and extend the intentions of the design of the exterior spaces: The foyer creates a rich experience to people visiting the building. The different building entrances are connected in a unique promenade around the fly tower that offers interesting perspectives to the East Lake and to other levels of the foyer. The different balconies and stairs of the foyer are designed to maximize exposure of people to one another.

While the opera itself acts as an icon to the whole city, the rest of the complex is broken up in smaller buildings and areas such as parks and promenades. They compose a human scale city center filled with water, intimate public spaces and covered galleries.

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Project facts

Project facts

Location: Hangzhou, China
Client: The Government of Yuhang District in Hangzhou
Gross floor area: 133,000 m2
Year of construction: 2014 - 2018
Type of assignment: 1. prize, international, invited competition
Competition team: Buro Happold Engineering, Bassinet Turquin Paysage, Marshall Day Acoustics, dUCKS scéno, John Thompson & Partners
Project team: Hangzhou Architectural & Civil Engineering Design Institute Co., Ltd (LDI), Buro Happold Engineering, AECOM, Müller-BBM International GmbH, Kunkel Consulting International GmbH, KWY

The Auditorium

The Auditorium


The auditorium combines the capacity to welcome conferences, theater, opera, as well as amplified and acoustical performances in a multifunctional hall capable to perform outstandingly in all settings. Each of the specific functions brought a particular element to the design of the auditorium: The conference hall has ensured daylight flowing down from the roof. The theater has added two balconies surrounding the parquet, and the concert hall has provided the wooden and golden relief ideal for acoustical adjustments.

The auditorium is designed to maximize the audience's experience of intimacy with the artists and increase the exposure of guests to one another. The balconies encircle the auditorium as much as possible to recreate those important qualities of ancient operas.


  • Hangzhou, China


Partner & Design Director, HLA HK, Architect MAA
Phone: +852 2657 0005 / +852 5933 2311
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Partner and Managing Director, HLA HK, Architect MArch, MLA
Phone: +852 5313 8285 Hong Kong +86 150 1253 8285 China
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