The National Center for the Performing Arts (国家大剧院, literally meaning National Grand Center), located in the heart of Beijing, will be host to the first day of the International Conference, including keynote presentations, exhibitions and performances.
The Center is an immense titanium and glass dome that reflects the surrounding lights and colours, surrounded by a man-made lake, pedestrian walkways, gardens and trees. Designed by French architect Paul Andreu, it has become an iconic symbol recognised around the world.Often described as the Egg, this futuristic design was initially controversial as it sharply contrasts the ancient Chinese architecture of the surrounding landmarks, such as Tiananmen Square, the Great Hall of the People and Forbidden City. Contrary to traditions, Andreu decided to create a modern design highlighting the capital city's growing international importance.The construction of the Center began in 2001 and, with its first performance on 22 December 2007, the venue has since showcased some to some the world's greatest performing artists.Seating 5 452 people within its three halls, the 2 398-seat Opera House is the largest venue and boasts the most advanced staging equipment available.
The Concert Hall, with 2 019 seats, was designed with superior acoustics, ideal for symphony orchestras and national music performances. The 1 035-seat Theatre is also equipped with hi-tech, theatrical staging and audio visual equipment, suitable for traditional Chinese operas and modern dramas.The interior design of main hall is as stunning as the building's architecture. Ten different types and colours of marble from around China were used for the flooring. A floor-to-ceiling glass curtain bathes the interior in sunlight or reveals the city's lights at night. The interior walls are warmed by a massive lattice work of rich Brazilian rose wood.The National Centre for the Performing Arts also hosts a variety of Auxiliary Facilities and spaces that are dedicated to public use. Known as the "The Fifth Space", they include the underwater corridor, an exhibition gallery and a resource centre along with souvenir shops and cafes.