Wednesday, May 09, 2007

New Development of China’s National Grand Theater Renews Public Criticism













The Grand Theater surrounded by the pool (top)
The Great Hall of the People is located to the east of the theater(bottom)


The newly constructed reflection pool surrounding the unfinished National Grand Theater of China did not turn around the disapproval attitude of the public toward the long-time controversial project, despite the apparent beauty added to the scene by the water.

Most of the over 700 online comments still hold a negative tone toward the construction, calling it too lavish, a ill-match with the Great Hall of the People standing beside, a waste of money and water.

“The water should be placed in the impoverished wild north west. It is too poor there,” one comment reads.

“Is it necessary to do something so extravagant?” questions another. “[The government itself] is still advocating frugality.”

There are also a few comments saying that the building is pretty and a testimony of China’s advance in architecture.

The 35,000 square-meter pool will need 14,000 cubic meters of water to fill up, and the source will be underground water, state media reported.

The grand theater, generally known in China as the huge egg shell, is a project of nearly 150,000 square meters floor area consisting of three theaters, plus huge parking facilities and surrounding landscape. It received a central government funding of around $340 million.

Since, and even before the construction started in 2001, the project has been widely criticized by the public and some academics as wasteful, damaging to the nearby scene of the Tiananmen Square area, and a poor architecture design of the building itself.

The theater was supposed to be finished and ready to have performances by 2005, but the construction is still going on.

Media reports about the pool
http://news.163.com/07/0510/02/3E3KSP1D0001124J.html
http://news.sina.com.cn/c/p/2007-05-09/115412947065.shtml

Online comments
http://comment.news.163.com/reply/post.jsp?type=null&board=news_shehui5_bbs&threadid=3E22VIGP0001125G&pagex=3

Official website of the theater
http://www.nationalgrandtheater.com/index00.htm

4 comments:

Jenn said...

Well, on the plus side the construction of the theater, lavish as it may be, gave jobs to a lot of migrant workers who needed the work.

And the water just makes it look so, modern. I can't wait to see it without all the construction equipment around it. Or smog. That also ruins the view a bit.

Anonymous said...

What a waste of scarce resources! A typical image project that's going to further damage the capital's image. When will they start to learn? They replaced ancient and historical buildings with ugly chimneys in the 1950s. And now this! Sigh...

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