Friday Photo: China’s big silver egg opens for business

Beijing’s controversial National Grand Theater, designed by French architect Jean Andreu, held its first performance this week. Asked if his creation, known to many locals as “the egg,” would “clash with all the profound traditions and ancient architecture in Beijing,” Andreu told the People’s Daily: I believe the ancient and the modern should live together ...

598980_070928_shanghai_0_15.jpg
598980_070928_shanghai_0_15.jpg

Beijing's controversial National Grand Theater, designed by French architect Jean Andreu, held its first performance this week. Asked if his creation, known to many locals as "the egg," would "clash with all the profound traditions and ancient architecture in Beijing," Andreu told the People's Daily:

I believe the ancient and the modern should live together and respect each other. You shouldn't make out an ancient city to be a kind of dead city, where everything has to look ancient, or has to be…but at the same time you should not spoil it. So, in this building, we've paid a lot of attention to have trees, and to have water, as it is in the park on the other side of the avenue, and as it is all around the Forbidden City. We put also a lot of attention to respect all the town fabric, and symmetry lines that assist people.

Left: China Daily/Reuters; Right: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images

Beijing’s controversial National Grand Theater, designed by French architect Jean Andreu, held its first performance this week. Asked if his creation, known to many locals as “the egg,” would “clash with all the profound traditions and ancient architecture in Beijing,” Andreu told the People’s Daily:

I believe the ancient and the modern should live together and respect each other. You shouldn’t make out an ancient city to be a kind of dead city, where everything has to look ancient, or has to be…but at the same time you should not spoil it. So, in this building, we’ve paid a lot of attention to have trees, and to have water, as it is in the park on the other side of the avenue, and as it is all around the Forbidden City. We put also a lot of attention to respect all the town fabric, and symmetry lines that assist people.

Left: China Daily/Reuters; Right: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images

The big picture is from 2004; the smaller photo is from this week. Looking at this pair of images, I have to say that while the building is neat, it doesn’t exactly blend into its surroundings. (Residents who were evicted from their homes to make way for the egg did get treated to the ballet this week, though.)

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