Jean Nouvel Wins International Competition to Design Shenzhen's Opera House

The International Architectural Design Competition for Shenzhen Opera House has announced the selection of the proposal Light of the Sea submitted by Jean Nouvel as the first-prize winner of the contest. “A masterpiece where music meets the sea”, the design doesn’t adopt the conventional enclosed form of opera houses, but it integrates the building into the coastline, showcasing a visionary public cultural landmark.

Located in the Dongjiaotou Area in Shenzhen Bay Coastal Leisure Belt, on a 175,000 m2 site, the Shenzhen Opera House has a gross floor area of 222,000 m2. Envisioned as a “new platform for international cultural exchange […] a new landmark of art and culture in Shenzhen, and an art parlor for Shenzhen citizens”, this intervention seeks to become top-ranking cultural facilities of this new era.


A joint effort by the Planning and Natural Resources Bureau, Bureau of Culture, Radio, TV, Tourism and Sports, and Bureau of Public Works of Shenzhen Municipality, the competition adopted a “global invitation + open selection” mechanism to select 17 teams out of over 100 registered applicants. Representing 14 countries, the teams included the world's top-notch architects.