Shenzhen Opera House


In January 2020, The Government of Shenzhen, announced an International Architecture Design Competition for the Shenzhen Opera House. QUAD studio participated via Open Call and submitted a design proposal called Unité signifying a holistic narrative that stitches together the functions of the Opera House, it extends to the adjacent surroundings creating multi-dimensional web of connectivity to above and below grade functional and public spaces.


Shenzhen Bay is part of the Hong Kong – Shenzhen Western Corridor and a gateway into China. The bay contains some of the most iconic landmarks in Shenzhen all connected by the 15km long Shenzhen Bay Park that stretches from Shekou to the Mangrove Birds Nature park.

 The site for the Shenzhen Opera House sits within the Shenzhen Bay Park less than 1km West of the Shenzhen Bay Bridge and commands an unrivalled presence in the bay, a positioning that has potential to be one of the famous and distinctive buildings in the world.

The Opera House and it's surroundings

Location : Shenzhen Bay Park, PRC

Area : 222,000 m2

Competition Concept Design  : QUAD studio

Environmental Design Consultant : Atelier 10

QUAD Studio Design Team : Wai Tang, Kelvin Chu, Peter Scott, Adrian Pang, Landy Liu, Jimmy Li, Yolanda Xian

Organizers  : Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources of Shenzhen Municipality,  Bureau of Culture, Sports, Tourism, Radio and Television of Shenzhen Municipality, Bureau of Public Works of Shenzhen Municipality

All Images by ICON and QUAD


Competition Submission Panel 1
Competition Submission Panel 2

An Original Iconic Opera House for Shenzhen

In the initial phases of the design, possible national and cultural icons were explored. We settled with combining ideas that represented the City with something that is distinctively Chinese.

Chinese Icon

Chinese Knot is a cultural handicraft that dates back to prehistoric times dating back to the Tang and Song Dynasty. It is a symbol of good luck, intimacy and prosperity.

There is one kind of Chinese knot- that symbolize prosperity and unity- called Round Brocade Knot, also known as Six-Flower Knot, which we believe, encapsulates the essence the Shenzhen Bay Opera House.

At the centre of the Opera House Complex sits the Main Foyer with a Central Public Hall. Circumscribing the Hall, the knot forms six petals that perfectly relates with the six elements in the project, namely opera hall, concert hall, small opera hall, multi-functional theatre, performance support rooms and art museum.

These six petals, formed by one single thread and intertwined with each other also symbolize spirit of cooperation, sense of unity and courage of innovation. The thread also forms multi levels thoroughfares connecting the public the functions in the Opera House Complex and Beyond.

The Round Brocade Knot

The City and the Bougainvillea

Out of the six elements, three of them, the Opera Hall, Concert Hall and Small Opera Hall elevates out of the podium and overlooks the bay. On the roof of the elevated petals are roof gardens with outdoor bars and restaurants where people can gather and admire the beautiful bay area. Environmental canopies with integrated PV cells serve as sunshade to the roof top gardens below. The three petal environmental canopies are in the shape of the Bougainvillea, the flower of Shenzhen and an icon that represented ecological nature of the city and growth.

The Bougainvillea



The Round Brocade Knot, not only stitches together the functions of the Opera House, it extends to the adjacent surroundings creating multi-dimensional web of connectivity to above and below grade functional and public spaces.




Public Focused and Future Oriented

Architecture has the power to change people’s lives. By sharing our focus on the public realm, we believe we have an opportunity to change people’s perception of an Opera House. Not only is it a place to showcase artistic performance, it is a place for social gathering, a place of destination for the people of Shenzhen where the public share their experience of Shenzhen Bay with their friends and family. A place for social gathering, a place to appreciate the Arts, a place to appreciate life.


Green and Ecological

The iconic form of the Opera House Complex is not just visually stunning, it also takes into account ecological components.


Displacement Ventilation Strategy

At the Main Atrium where a radiant chilled floor system at B1 floor slab facilitates air conditioning. The combination of a stack effect created by the open vents at the skylight together with the pre-cooling of the B1 floor slab, creates a significant cooling effect to the atrium.


Roof Garden Environmental Strategy

For the garden roof top of the Opera House is a naturally ventilated public realm. Containing restaurants and cafes, visitors to sit and admire unobstructed views towards the beautiful bay area.  The roof and skylights reduce direct solar radiation allowing healthy daylight for plant growth. Secondary air transfer from the fully air-conditioned Opera Halls provides supplementary cooling for the roof garden.