Designs for Jeddah's waterside opera house unveiled

Designs for Jeddah's waterside opera house unveiled

Slated to open in the new Jeddah Central destination by 2027, the opera house will be a landmark location for the city
07 May 24
Jeddah Opera House Image source: IG henninglarsenarchitects

Ground has officially been broken, and over the next three year's Jeddah's opera house is set to take shape on the shores of the Red Sea.

Designed by Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen Architects, the city's first dedicated opera house will draw inspiration from indigenous materials and will incorporate elements reminiscent of the buildings within UNESCO-recognised historic district of Al Balad, located nearby, such as coral stone and wooden finishings.

Set to be the jewel in the crown of the Jeddah Central masterplan, the opera house will mark the location of the city's new Opera Quarter.

Pivoting on culture, the design of the opera house seeks to establish a cultural link between residents and visitors, and will physically bridge the gap between the city and the sea under a natural, shaded canopy which is referred to as 'the spine'. Lightweight materials will be draped with natural greenery and foliage to create a shaded and cool walkway.

In relation to how the design of this pivotal building will impact the wider Jeddah Central destination, Henning Larsen Architects note that the "... identity of the new quarter is driven by its relationship with the landscape, creating a social space that promotes cultural encounters, house events, and becomes a destination for future generations." And to support this, the Jeddah Opera House's "... unique architectural identity celebrates life, culture, and local nature and geology."

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The opera house will feature a 1500-seat auditorium (to be named the Red Sea Theatre), alongside a 750-capacity playhouse theatre and an additional rehearsal hall. It is hoped that the venue will accommodate a diverse range of events, from world-class performances to community outreach programmes and and educational experiences.

The Jeddah Central District is slated to open by 2027