In search of identity : The development process of the National Grand Theatre in Beijing, China

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-535
Journal / PublicationJournal of Architecture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


The controversial National Grand Theatre in Beijing was completed in 2007. It was the outcome of 50 years' of perseverance and effort. This long period reflects not only the struggle and balance between global impact and local culture, but also the interactive relationship between social development and architectural practice in China. The National Grand Theatre is no doubt a milestone in China's modern architectural history. This article reviews its often painstaking route through initiation, design and construction, and discusses the macro-social situation which germinated various schemes in different historic periods. Through the case study of the National Grand Theatre, one can see the factual data of this mega theatre and perceive the characteristics of contemporary Chinese architecture. © 2010 The Journal of Architecture.

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