A Rival to the Sydney Opera House?

Categories Lifestyle


Check out the marvel of design that’s knocked Sydney off the throne as the world’s most jaw-dropping opera house.

Harbin is famous for its spectacular ice sculpture festival each winter and this dazzling white structure reflects the wintry culture of northern China’s ‘Ice City’, resembling a snow-covered hill springing up out of the frosty countryside.

Beijing architecture firm MAD — the same geniuses who designed Canada’s futuristic Absolute Towers, nicknamed the ‘Marilyn Monroe’ for their sheer curves — unveiled the 1600-seat opera house last Christmas after five years of construction, the focal point of Harbin’s brand new 444-acre Cultural Island set on the serene Songhua River.

The winding edifice blurs into the frozen landscape of the surrounding wetlands, with the futuristic snow-white lobby shielded from the frigid terrain by a wave of glass panels beneath a web of smooth aluminium panels, blending into a sweeping public plaza.


The warm timber Grand Theatre itself is sculpted out of Manchurian Ash, with entirely wooden walls surrounding the stage and forming the various balconies. There’s also a smaller 400-seat theatre with soundproof glass providing a panoramic backdrop for the 80,000-square-metre masterpiece.



Sydney Opera House, we love you, but it’s time to hand over your crown to this work of art.

Check out more pictures here.