This week, Toyo Ito's Taichung Opera House opened to the public

This week on Dezeen: Toyo Ito's cavernous opera house opened in the Taiwanese city of Taichung, while cultural buildings by Zaha Hadid Architects and Amanda Levete neared completion.

The 58,000-square-metre Taichung Metropolitan Opera House was designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito with a series of hourglass wells in its facade. It officially opened to the public yesterday.

MAAT by Amanda Levete
First photographs revealed of Amanda Levete's MAAT museum in Lisbon

New images offered a first look at two important cultural buildings nearing completion – Amanda Levete's undulating, tile-covered MAAT museum in Lisbon and a vast cultural complex in the Chinese city of Nanjing by Zaha Hadid Architects.

Apple to move into Battersea Power Station
Apple to set up campus in London's Battersea Power Station

Elsewhere, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk announced plans to start manned missions to Mars as soon as 2022, and tech giant Apple revealed it will create a new London headquarters inside Battersea Power Station.

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"Living legend" Paulo Mendes da Rocha to receive 2017 RIBA Royal Gold Medal

In other architecture news, Paulo Mendes da Rocha was named as the 2017 recipient of the Royal Gold Medal, with RIBA president Jane Duncan describing the Brazilian architect as "a true living legend".

It was also announced that the designer for next year's Serpentine Pavilion in London will be selected by a team including architects Richard Rogers and David Adjaye.

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"Design is about form and art is more about ideas" says David Shrigley

Dezeen interviewed British artist David Shrigley ahead of his giant thumbs-up sculpture being unveiled on the Forth Plinth in London's Trafalgar Square on Thursday.

Shrigley also joined the growing list of leading industry figures backing Dezeen's Brexit Design Manifesto, along with David Adjaye, Terry Farrell and Es Devlin.

Smog free tower in Beijing
Daan Roosegaarde launches campaign to make Beijing a smog-free city

Santiago Calatrava revealed plans for a Zurich office block complete with public parking for 1000 bicycles, while Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde launched a campaign to make Beijing a smog-free city.

Barrier by Thomas Schnur
Thomas Schnur exhibits furniture pieces based on common objects

Also in Beijing, the city's annual design week started. Among the exhibitors was German designer Thomas Schnur, who presented six pieces of furniture adapted from objects found in the street.

Buck off sex toy
Buck Off is the world's first sex toy for transgender men

In other design news, Snapchat branched into hardware with camera-integrated Spectacles, and the world's first sex toy for transgender men caused controversy.

Unusual Football Pitch by AP Thai
Non-rectangular football pitches created in Bangkok slum

Popular projects this week included a non-rectangular football pitch in a Bangkok slum, a "paradise-like house" in rural China by Xu Fu-Min and AND's South Korean cafe covered in aluminium louvres.

Louverwall by AND
Aluminium louvres cover curving walls of house and cafe in South Korea

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