Located in Chang’an Avenue of Xicheng District, National Center for the Performing Arts (AKA the National Grand Theater or NCPA) is an amazing art center in Beijing, China. Its unique and attention-grabbing architectural layout was designed by the French architect named Paul Andrew. NCPA’s main building is composed of 3 performing venues namely the Opera House, the Concert Hall, and the Theater.
This big dome has underwater corridors, an artificial lake, an underground garage, and a green space. Its area is covering 29 hectares (around 12 hectares). The construction started in December 2001 and completed in September 2007. Nowadays, the building is thought to be the deepest architecture in Beijing because of its deepest point of -106.6 feet or -32.5 meters. That is equivalent to the height of a 10-floor structure. The National Center for the Performing Arts offers a very sharp contrast to its environment, having an oval exterior surely makes it eye-catching.
There are a lot of performances regularly staged in the National Center for the Performing Arts like dance shows, ballets, dramas, symphonies, operas, etc. If you would like to visit and watch a show or two, the National Center for the Performing Arts offers a visiting tour that includes thematic activities, art exhibitions, and facilities.
NCPA’s Exterior – A Huge Oval Shell
The National Center for the Performing Arts’ exterior is a steel-structured oval shell made of ingenious material integration of more than 18,000 titanium plates and more than 1,000 sheets of ultra-white glass. It indeed creates a vibrant graphic effect as if the curtain is drawn apart slowly right before your eyes. It is considered the largest dome in the whole world with its 6,457 tons of weight and 696 feet or 212 meters of an axis. The center is bounded by a crystal-like artificial lake that does not turn into ice in winter.
All of the building’s entrances and passages are built underwater, which can give you a special feeling when you walk into it while your head is above water. There is also a greenbelt around the lake where people can wander and appreciate the serene surroundings for free or without a fee.
The performance venues of the National Center for the Performing Arts including the Opera House, the Concert Hall, and the Theater have separated areas linked by air corridors.
Probably the most magnificent building inside NCPA is the Opera House with a main hue of gold. This is where operas, ballets, dance-dramas, and large-scale shows are being performed. It has a total of 2,091 seats but there is also a standing room available. The auditorium’s arc-shaped metal-net wall permits lights and shadows to change according to the progress of the performance.
The audiences can effortlessly immerse themselves in the inventive atmosphere of the theater. The seamless ballet stage’s surface is the largest one in China made of Oregon timber. The stage also has a three-layer structure that gives good resilience and protection to the performers’ feet.
Situated on the east side of the Opera House, the Concert Hall is a house of Chinese traditional music and large-scale symphonies. It has an elegant and tranquil look because of its silver-white color. The audience can enjoy the performances from any angle since the auditorium is around the stage. The halls’ ceiling rolls resemble waves that are auspicious to the sound’s diffusion. It can seat a total of 1.859 individuals.
The Concert Hall’s pipe organ is one thing that the audience should not miss. It is placed in the hall with 94 stops and a remarkable array of 6,500 pipes. It is actually the largest one in Asia and is truly the Concert Hall’s most valuable treasure.
The theater’s design has a distinctive Chinese traditional style. It is where you can be the audience of the stage plays, operas, and national songs & dances. Excluding the orchestra, the theater has a total of 957 seats. Its walls are flameproof because of the Zhejiang’s silk placed on it. The theater’s stage does not only provide a great venue for the Chinese traditional operas but also gives a feeling of closeness between the performers and the audience.
The conditioner’s air inlets are built under the seats so the audience won’t feel the wind but enjoy the coolness while seeing the performances. It also has equipment installed for noise elimination so that when anyone leaves while the performance is going on, no noise will be heard.
|How to get to|
|By Metro||Take Subway line 1 and leave at Tiananmen Xi Station. Get out from Exit C and find the underground passage directly to the theater. You can also take Subway line 2 and alight at Hepingmen Station. You need to leave the station from Exit B1.|
|By Bus||Bus 52 helps you to reach Shibei Hutong Station. Buses 1, 5, 52, 99, and Sightseeing Bus 1 or 2 help you to reach Tiananmen Xi Station are.|
|Standard Ticket||30 Yuan for adults and 15 Yuan for children under 3.9 feet|
|Combo ticket A||40 Yuan for 1 adult and 1 minor who is under 18 years old|
|Combo ticket B||65 Yuan for 2 adults and 1 minor who is under 18 years old|
|Working Hours||From 9 am to 5 pm.|
|Closed Days||All Mondays with the exception of holidays|
Note: Minors taller than 3.9 feet must provide a valid ID card.
There is a ticket office near the north fate which operates from 9:30 am to 6 pm for days without performances and from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm for days with performances. You can also call the hotline +8610-66550000 from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm for more information. Don’t miss your chance to see this stunning construction and its performances. Also, feel free to share your experience and thoughts about the National Center for the Performing Arts with us. Besides, if you are planning to visit Beijing, you can leave your questions and our professional guides will reply as soon as possible.