West Lake Opera House Project - A cultural highlight in the heart of the capital

(VOVWORLD) -The People's Committee of Tay Ho district, Hanoi has recently announced a detailed planning for the central area of Quang An peninsula with its spotlight featuring a floating Opera house on Dam Tri Lake. Once completed, the theater is expected to become a cultural icon of the capital city.

West Lake Opera House Project - A cultural highlight in the heart of the capital - ảnh 1The design of the floating Opera House with thin shell texture and pearl effect. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi plans to build a 13,000-square-meter theater capable of seating 1,800 near West Lake. The theater, designed to float on Dam Tri Lake, will be designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano.

According to Emeritus Artist Cao Ngoc Anh, Deputy Director of the Youth Theater, Hanoi currently has 20 theaters, but all of them are small, with only 100-800 seats. West Lake Opera House will be a place for large-scale art performances and other cultural entertainment activities for residents and visitors.

"Many theaters in Hanoi are very old and cannot meet the demand of many art performances at this time. For example, the Hanoi Opera House is hundreds of years old. We recently performed a play there and I had the idea of having some classic orchestra perform, but the lift there is too old and unsafe, so I had to give up the idea," said Emeritus Artist Cao Ngoc Anh. 

There will be green spaces, amusement and cultural parks, along with malls, and restaurants near the new Opera House area.

"Vietnam, and especially Hanoi, needs an international music performance space. The trend is inevitable. But planners must have a master plan to design a theater which can meet the demand and standards of international programs," said  Sculptor Tran Duc Sy of the Hanoi Fine Arts Association. 

Under planning projects for Hanoi in 1992, West Lake in 1994, and Hanoi in 1998, a number of cultural works including theater and museum would be built on the West Lake peninsula. In 2011, when Hanoi adjusted its boundaries, the plan of building a multi-purpose theater in this area was reaffirmed.

Mr. Dao Ngoc Nghiem, Vice President of the Vietnam Urban Development and Planning Association and former Director of Hanoi's Department of Planning and Architecture, said: "For nearly 30 years, there has been a plan to build cultural establishments in the area of Quang An peninsula. The location is suitable, but the building itself must be highly symbolic and have a practical function. We need to study this matter carefully, and learn how to enhance the natural landscape instead of overwhelming it." 

West Lake Opera House Project - A cultural highlight in the heart of the capital - ảnh 2Phan Dang Son, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Architects (Photo: VNA)

In 2017, the Hanoi Party Committee developed a master plan for amusement parks and entertainment areas in the West Lake area.  

Under the plan, the underground space of the city will be connected with the city's transportation system. Phan Dang Son, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Architects, said the theater at Dam Tri Lake is at the point connecting the cultural axises of West Lake-Ba Vi with West Lake-Co Loa.

"The detailed planning of the Opera House project has been approved by the Prime Minister. The Opera House will be the biggest cultural attraction in this area," said Mr Phan Dang Son. 

Around the world, opera houses have become symbols of many countries and generated huge revenues for the tourism industry.

The new Opera House will have a modern architecture with a dome inspired by the waves of West Lake, and is destined to become a new symbol of the capital.