Astana National Opera House Competition 2009
Project Category:Competition
Architect:Robert A. M. Stern Architects
Completion Year:2009
Location:Astana, Kazakstan
Capacity:1,200 seats
Astana's new Classical Opera and Ballet Theater, a symbol of the city's optimism as it takes its place on the world's stage as an important national capital, holds down a key position on the great mall. A 60-meter-deep, 220-meter-long forecourt, with grand cascading fountains, a central reflecting pool, and a broad ceremonial stair, sets the stage for arriving theatergoers. The transparent south facade, anchored at each end by limestone pavilions topped with celebratory uplights, conveys the sense of spectacle that takes place within.

Two grand circular stairs climb to the dramatically scaled lobby, which carries to the interior the timeless classicism of the building's exterior. One level above, the Presidential Tier is flanked by two patrons' lounges.

Building on the traditions of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Italian opera houses, the intimate 1,200-seat theater offers superior sightlines and acoustical performance. Major rehearsal rooms, along with production shops, dressing rooms, chorus rooms, administrative offices, and a 68-room hotel for guest artists flank the auditorium. A banquet room and a restaurant set amidst roof gardens crown the composition.