National Grand Theater Of China Indoor

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National Grand Theater Of China Indoor

The opera house is covered in a gilt metal mesh. It is opaque over the walls and when the areas behind it are unlit but it becomes partially transparent when there is light in such as way that it reveals what is there while creating a distance. The spectators enter the opera house through one of the two big doorways in the gilt ring wall. When they cross this threshold they penetrate into a world of vertical circulation that takes them even farther away from the outside world and draws them near the point in time and space when the show will begin.

From the lobby, they are still visible in the distance created by the partial transparency. The wall thus expresses closure and separation but also, and more significantly, the psychological and symbolic distance that has to be crossed to gain access to the world of theatrical conventions.