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 Tian’anmen 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
Official website of the theater