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Cracking Open NCPA's 10 Year History


Beijing is not only famous for its historic cultural richness but also modern advancements, and architecture is no exception. This month marks ten years since the completion of the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA)affectionately referred to as “The Egg” and the first of Beijing’s unique bird series buildings.


The NCPA in its early stages

Although the NCPA is now a source of great pride for Beijing, its inception was not without controversy. When people first saw the design for The Egg, there was opposition to placing such a modern building near the more traditional architecture of Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City. 


Construction of the NCPA


The French-born architect, Paul Andreu, kept this in mind, saying, “I had the feeling this was a very important place … there was history, power and now culture; the theater was about culture.” Andreu, now a professor at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, wanted to propose a creative design that would stand out but still respect the surrounding buildings. 


Architect Paul Andreu standing in the NCPA


But it wasn’t cheap. In the end, the project cost roughly US$75 million more than initially projected, and the costs continue as the government continues to subsidize ticket prices.


Kunqu Opera performance, part of the NCPA's 9th anniversary celebration


Nevertheless, the iconic titanium and glass dome is now famous as one of the capital’s most visited sites. Tourists and locals alike watch performances featuring homegrown talents and China-centric performances, as well as shows from around the globe, such as Italian operas and Shakespearean plays. 


Underwater Corridor of the NCPA


Many visitors also go to the NCPA just to admire the beauty of the structure, with the Underwater Corridor a special highlight. The interior of the building, like the exterior, was carefully crafted and beautifully designed.



Concert at NCPA as part of 9th anniversary celebrations


As part of their tenth-anniversary celebrations, the NCPA will hold a concert on December 22, 2017. Mark your calendars and get tickets to watch the NCPA Orchestra commemorate a decade since The Egg opened to the public.



National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) 
2 Xichang'an Jie
Tel: 6655-0000

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