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For the sixth annual AZ Awards, our intrepid jury narrowed the field from over 800 submissions, received from dozens of countries, to select just 48 finalists that stood above the rest. In addition to presenting the AZ Award winners, Azure recognized these projects, products and concepts with Awards of Merit.

MAD Architects’ 1,600-seat venue is to northeastern China what the Guggenheim is to Bilbao. The design, with its swooping, curvilinear forms, owes a debt to Gehry, if only a small one, but the bigger influence is the Manchurian landscape, with its winding rivers and billows of snow. Patrons enter through the lobby, which is lit up with a curtain wall made from miniature glass pyramids, and find their seats in a theatre built from swelling masses of local ash. As well, a narrow promenade is cut into the aluminum-clad exterior, giving visitors a thrilling new way to explore the site.

Location: Harbin, China

Firm: MAD Architects, China

Team: Ma Yansong, Yosuke Hayano and Dang Qun, with Jackob Beer, Fu Changrui, Zheng Fang, Daniel Gillen, Liu Huiying, Jordan Kanter, Kin Li, Sohith Perera, J Travis Russett, Julian Sattler, Bas van Wylick and Zhao Wei ­

Harbin Opera house

Explore more Award Winners

2021
Award of MeritBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Location
Dobšice, Czech Republic
Firm
Chybik + Kristof Architects & Urban Designers, Czech Republic
2021
WinnerBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Location
Jingdezhen, China
Firm
Studio Zhu-Pei, Beijing, China
2013
People’s ChoiceBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Location
Mexico City
Firm
FR-EE Fernando Romero Enterprise, Mexico City
Team
Fernando Romero, with Mauricio Ceballos