The roof of the building angles to ground level creating a large plaza inviting pedestrians to walk up and enjoy the panoramic views of Oslo. The angles and paving materials are also skateboard-friendly allowing skateboarders to use some areas. Skateboarders are discouraged from areas closer to performance spaces by the use of steps and paving not conducive to skateboarding.While much of the building is covered in white granite and La Facciata, a white Italian marble, the stage tower is clad in white aluminum in a design by Løvaas & Wagle evoking old weaving patterns.
The lobby is surrounded by 15 m (49 ft) tall windows with minimal framing and special glass that allows maximum views of the water. The roof is supported by thin angled columns also designed not to interfere with views.
Interior surfaces are covered in oak to bring warmth to spaces in contrast to the coolness of the white exterior. The main auditorium is a horseshoe shape and illuminated by an oval chandelier containing 5,800 handmade crystals. Seats include monitors for the electronic libretto system, allowing audiences to follow opera libretti in Norwegian and English in addition to the original language.