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Toyo Ito-designed opera house was inspired by the human body

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The Taichung Metropolitan Opera House is an impressive combination of forms

The long-awaited Taichung Metropolitan Opera House designed by 2013 Pritzker Prize winner Toyo Ito has finally opened its doors in Taiwan after nearly ten years of planning and development—first designed in 2006, construction didn’t begin until 2009. The wait has certainly been worthwhile, however, as the final project proves to be an impressive combination of forms, at least as it appears through the lens of New Zealand photographer Lucas K. Doolan.

The structure features curvilinear windows as well as corresponding sections that seem to fold into the otherwise rectangular volume. Inside, cave-like halls, rooms, and stairwells echo the insides of a human body, with white concrete walls and red carpeting serving to further drive home the connection.

"I aimed to create the architecture of this opera house in such a way that the inside and outside are continuous in a like manner to how bodies are connected to nature through organs such as the mouth, nose, and ears," Ito told Dezeen.

Measuring 58,000 square meters (624,000 square feet), the six-story complex comprises three theaters of varying capacities, as well as rehearsal spaces and a restaurant. A first look below.

Ito also designed the recently opened Museo Internacional del Barroco in Mexico.