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Atkins' Dubai Opera opens

Dubai Opera

The 2,000 seat Dubai Opera has opened in Downtown Dubai with an opening performance from tenor Placido Domingo.

The Dubai Opera is located near the Burj Khalifa and provides Dubai with a multi-functional auditorium.

Anti-reflective glass in the foyer allows people on the outside to watch opera-goers preparing to attend a performance. This architectural conceit is intended to create the impression for an outside observer that the foyer itself is a stage. 

“We looked into Dubai’s heritage and traditions for inspiration to find an architectural language which would celebrate the city’s past, as well as supporting its future,” said Janus Rostock, Atkins’ design director and lead architect for the Dubai Opera project.

“The traditional Arabic dhow has played a significant role in bringing success and prosperity to Dubai, and through trade these vessels have also played their part in introducing culture and ideas to the city – they’re part of the reason Dubai is so welcoming and culturally diverse today.

“This theme resonated strongly with our client and it has resulted in a building which is very much embedded in the place, culture and history of the emirate.”

Atkins technical director and fellow Richard Smith added: “Dubai Opera’s shape and the stringent theatrical design requirements needed our building services engineers to use four types of advanced virtual modelling to predict the performance of the building and its systems and to optimise the design solutions.

“In building services terms, this is a really complex project which demanded outstanding teamwork and technical ability to deliver.”

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