National Centre for the Performing Arts
The National Centre for the Performing Arts, formerly known as the National Grand Theatre, and colloquially described (nicknamed) as The Egg, is an opera house in Beijing. The Centre, an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake, seats 6,500 people in three halls and is 200,000 m˛ in size. It is separated from the Tian An Men Square by The Great Hall of the People. The glass opens the building like a curtain which moves away showing the interior : theatres, exhibition and public spaces. The concept of the building is a cultural island in the middle of a lake. The location, combined with the theatre's futuristic design, created considerable controversy. Paul Andreu countered that although there is indeed value in ancient traditional Chinese architecture, Beijing must also include modern architecture.