Hanoi administrators have accepted a request by a local developer to put an end to a controversial project to build a ‘floating theater’ in the shape of a giant lotus, one year after the facility was approved for construction.
The cessation of the project to develop the Hanoi Lotus Theater was announced during an internal meeting by the Hanoi administration on Tuesday, according to a source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Nguyen Manh Quyen, director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, confirmed the information to Tuoi Tre the following day.
The theater, to be funded by the private sector, was expected to be the biggest and most modern of its kind in the Vietnamese capital.
The Hanoi Department of Planning and Architecture gave the green light to the zoning and architectural design of the project in July 2017.
The Hanoi Lotus Theater was part of the under-construction CV1 Park, a major public space located at the intersection of Duong Dinh Nghe with Pham Hung Streets in Yen Hoa Ward, Cau Giay District.
The cultural complex, whose construction started in early 2017, is being developed on a 32-hectare land plot, comprising 19 hectares of water, with the remaining acreage planned for a green park and several public facilities.
The six-story multifunctional theater, designed to float on a four-hectare area of water within the CV1 Park, was supposed to feature a 2,000-seat auditorium, as well as amusement, skating and office zones.
However, the proposed theater is not everyone’s cup of tea, having sparked a debate over its necessity since the project’s introduction last year.
Some opponents said the project was not really necessary, and could be a waste of money, while others criticized that the lotus-shaped design is inappropriate for such a modern venue, not to mention that there are already a number of lotus-inspired constructions in the country.
Critics added that it would be a challenge to have the 2,000-seat theater fully occupied.
Quyen, from the investment department, said the private developer of the project had decided to pull the plug on it on their own.
“After consideration, the developer realized that there are already many theaters around that area so it would be unreasonable to add one to the list,” Quyen said.
“Hanoi administrators viewed the decision as justified and agreed to have the developer cease the project.”