Performing arts spaces are easy escapes into the world of creativity and art. What artists present in these spaces are works of art that hardly ever cross the common man’s imagination. It therefore becomes important that these spaces are designed to deliver the best visual and psychological experience in the form of excellent acoustics and responsive physical interior spaces. Discussed below are some of the best designed performing arts spaces in the world.
1. Kauffman center for performing arts
Designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, this performing arts center houses two concert halls namely the Muriel Kauffman Theatre—a 1,800-seat concert hall—inspired by the designs of great European opera houses, and the Helzberg Hall—a 1,600-seat, oval-shaped concert hall.
The building on the exterior takes on the appearance of two symmetrical half-shells that are made of concrete on the exterior and cladded with wood on the interior occasionally punctured with skylights to bring in natural daylight and enhance the dramatics of the interior space.
The main concept behind the design of this space was that of a combination of instruments being weaved together and integrated to function as on with the help of a large glass façade and lobby area. The architect wanted to create the experience of one walking into a giant string instrument.
2. Walt Disney concert hall
Completed in the year 2003, this Frank Gehry masterpiece is appreciated for its excellent acoustics and unique architecture. The exterior of the buildings takes on the appearance of undulating metallic surfaces that symbolize the fluidity of music.
This facility seats 2,265 spectators at once in its main concert hall. Visitors are greeted with large column-free spaces, dramatic undulating roof structures, and punctures of daylight as they move through the space to experience the magnificence that it has to offer.
3. National center for performing arts Beijing
Colloquially known as The Giant Egg, this center for performing arts in Beijing, China is known to be the largest performing arts center in Asia. Designed by French architect Paul Andreu the NCPA houses three concert halls under its semi-ellipsoidal steel shell.
What is interesting to note here that around 60% of the structure lies underground and is essentially stationed on water. Yes! Below the theatre is a channel of the ancient river channel of Yongding River in Beijing. The buoyancy generated hence can hold up the entire structure of the theatre.
4. Sydney Opera house
Yet another masterpiece, the Sydney Opera house needs no introduction to the massive hit that it has been in the kind of performing arts spaces it houses and the architectural marvel that it is.
Designed by Jorn Utzon, this multi-venue performing arts center adorns the Sydney harbor with its distinct exteriors that are a composition of pre-cast concrete shells cladded with glossy white and matte cream-colored tiles. The building hosts several performing spaces, concert halls, recording studios, cafes, and restaurants.
5. Kennedy Centre for performing arts
It was designed by architect Edward Durell Stone and houses three main theatres: The Concert Hall, the Opera House, and the Eisenhower Theatre. Greeted by grand staircases, plazas, gardens, and lobbies visitors come here to witness performances by world-renowned orchestras, dance troupes, and theatre groups.
6. Harpa Music Centre in Reykjavik
Opened in 2011, this concert hall and conference center is one of the identity markers of the architecture of Iceland. One may recognize it from its feature in the popular Netflix series Black mirror. Inspired by the basalt landscape of Iceland the architects of the building, Henning Larsen Architects, designed the façade of the building with patterns and iterations of colored glass.
Offering spectacular views of the sea and mountains from the interiors, it houses concert halls, conference halls, rehearsal and recording rooms among other ancillary facilities, and has been a host to some of the most distinguished performing artists of the world.
7. Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall in Japan
This concert hall may well seem like a hollow mountain adorned with the finest acoustical and light features to give the audience the best concert experience they can ever get their hands on.
Designed by architect Takahiko Yanagisawa this concert hall looks like a temple for performing arts with its exquisite wood interiors and pitch-perfect acoustics.
8. Auditorio de Tenerife in the Canary Islands
The building that is famous for its great ‘arc’ that looks like a giant claw was designed by Santiago Calatrava and has become an iconic landmark and architectural symbol of the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
The building has one large auditorium that is divided into two halls namely—The main hall or Symphony and the Chamber Hall which have a seating capacity of 1616 and 422 seats respectively. The building received heavy criticism for its location, structural systems, and other logistical issues but managed to sail through to become an icon that hosts a multitude of musical performances and conventions.
9. Oslo Opera House
Home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the national opera theatre in Norway the Oslo Opera House is located in the Bjørvika neighborhood of central Oslo, at the head of the Oslo fjord. The main auditorium of this performing arts center is a classic horseshoe theatre built for opera and ballet and has a seating capacity of approximately 1370.
A large part of the façade of the building is cladded in glass to optimize daylighting and let stunning views of Oslo along the fjord come in. The roof of the building sweeps down into a large plaza for various public activities to take place.
The exterior of the building is cladded in a combination of white granite, Italian Carrara marble, and white aluminum, a contrast to heavy oak interiors.
10. Harbin Opera House
This masterpiece in white is a multi-venue performing arts center located in the city of Harbin, China – a city that is a UNESCO listed “City of Music” and is located at the center of Harbin’s cultural island along the Songhua River.
The building is cladded entirely in white aluminum panels on the exterior and looks like swirls made by hand in the snow when looked at from the top. The architect of the building, Ma Yalong, deliberately chose to make a structure that symbolized fluidity in contrast to the boxy towers that make up the facades of the city.