Jeddah Opera House

Inspired by the rhythm of Al-Balad, Henning Larsen creates a unique architectural identity at Jeddah Opera House, which features flexible performance spaces

The Jeddah Opera House situated on the Red Sea Waterfront is not only a cultural landmark; it’s a transformative space that connects residents and visitors to the sea through a cultural spine. This natural canopy, extending from the city to the water, creates a seamless transition, weaving buildings and vegetation together to form an inviting path of discovery. Drawing inspiration from the dense character of historic Al-Balad, known for its intricate lanes and bustling souqs, the opera house is intricately woven into its urban fabric. The architectural form mirrors the additive nature of the neighbourhood, with geometric volumes that change in appearance from different perspectives. From the city, the building blends into the urban fabric; from the waterfront, it stands as a beacon, symbolising Jeddah’s evolving art scene.

Designed for inclusivity, the opera house features flexible performance spaces, including the 150-seat Rehearsal Hall, 750-seat Playhouse theatre, and grand 1500-seat Red Sea Theatre. These spaces will host world-class performances, commercial events and community education programmes, fostering cultural encounters and promoting artistic growth.

Jeddah Opera House x identity

Jeddah Opera House – inspired by Al Balad

The architectural detailing of the opera house reflects a deep connection to Al-Balad’s music and mathematics. The façade, adorned with intricate mashrabiyas and roshans, plays with light and shadow, creating a dynamic interplay that evolves throughout the day. From afar, the glowing volumes of the opera house draw visitors in, while the interior reveals breathtaking views of the Red Sea, blending natural beauty with artistic expression.

The materials used throughout the project echo Saudi Arabia’s diverse geology, creating a journey through the country’s natural formations. From coral stone to wood, each element tells a story, enriching the opera house’s character and creating a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity. Inside, the grand foyer offers panoramic views of the Red Sea, bathing the space in natural light and providing a serene backdrop for cultural events. Along the waterfront, carefully selected vegetation mirrors coastal nature, enhancing the connection between the opera house and its surroundings.

Technical sheet

Project: Opera House
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 
Expected completion date: September 2027
Size: 32,000 m2
Client: Jeddah Central Development Co.
Architect: Henning Larsen
Landscape architect: Henning Larsen
Engineers: Buro Happold
Acoustics: Nagata
Stage technique: dUCKS Sceno
Renders: Vivid-Vision

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