The Shining Drop — NCPA
‘The shining drop!’, this was my reaction when I first saw ‘National Center for Performing Arts’ in Beijing. Fantastic in its own way, it was more divine, disconnected from the hustle and bustle of daily lives. It gave me way to think broader than ever before.
Designed by Ar. Paul Andreu, NCPA and colloquially described as The Giant Egg, is an arts centre containing an opera house in Beijing.
The whole experience of approaching NCPA is full of revelation. Once can see the shining egg just put among the greens. As soon as you reach nearby the masterpiece, excitement doubles as the egg hides itself back in the green curtain. You are enticed to move towards the entry and see the surprise.
As soon as you enter the forecourt, you can feel the heaven, a meditating centre? or a spiritual temple? A perfect setting for the holy building guides NCPA as no one can guess it to be an opera house in first visit. Time seems less if you sit around and appreciate the beauty.
One can only speculate how the interior would look like.
You are backed by another surprise as you discover the entrance is underwater. You can never get distracted to think about anything else when you are in forecourt. Building is the focus.
Respecting the heritage
It lies near the great center of Beijing surrounded by the forbidden city at one side and old city at the other end. While the landscape architect should be applauded for his successful attempt in providing views and reflection of surrounding historic buildings that are not to be forgotten.
At night, the egg transcends into silence revealing inside out the spaces through its curved glass façade. The vegetation around sleeps while the egg glows at night in its full glory.
I see the building NCPA an outcome of excellent process. It not only functions well, but also connects the visitor to the place by the use of sophisticated material and elements in hardscape and vegetation.
The whole objective of forecourt is fulfilled by the use of water, paved paths and latent sitting spaces in the complex.
The whole complex is worked with the color palette of earthy colors contrasted with dark maroon at some points for clear visual barrier.
As I got the opportunity to visit this ecstasy myself, I see personal bias and attraction towards the place.