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World's Largest Arts Centre Under One Roof designed by Mecanoo opens in Taiwan
Taiwan Architecture News - Oct 15, 2018 - 01:13 8478 views
The world's largest arts centre designed under one roof has been opened in Taiwan this weekend, which is presented as Taiwan’s biggest cultural investment in a generation.
Designed by Dutch practice Mecanoo, the single undulating building covers a surface area of 35 acres (141,000 square meters) and is set in the spectacular 116-acre (470,000 square meters) subtropical park, making it the world’s largest performing arts centre under one roof.
Named National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, the building consists of a 2,236-seat Opera House, a 1,981-seat Concert Hall, a 1,210-seat Playhouse, a 434-seat Recital Hall and an Outdoor Theater, the centre is presented as "a new cultural hub for East Asia."
The spectacular venue utilises its architecture and programme to combine artistic excellence with complete openness and accessibility. Located on a former military terrain, the building is an integral part of the adjacent subtropical park to have a positive social impact on the residents of Kaohsiung whose population counts almost 3 million.
Inspired by the local Banyan trees with their iconic crowns, the vast, undulating structure is composed of a skin and roof, and connects an extensive range of functions. Its curved steel structure was built in cooperation between a local and a Dutch ship builder. Underneath this roof is Banyan Plaza, it provides a generous, sheltered public space.
"Residents can wander through here day and night, practice Tai Chi or stage street performances along walkways and in informal spaces," said Mecanoo.
Mecanoo nestled open-air theatre on the roof where the structure curves to the ground, with the surrounding park forming the stage. Designed with the subtropical climate in mind, the open structure allows the wind to blow freely through Banyan Plaza. The seamless flow between interior and exterior creates opportunities for crossovers between formal and informal performances.
"Different theatres such as the 1981-seat Concert Hall and 2236-seat Opera House are located in the five cores or ‘legs’ of the building where the structure meets the ground," added the studio.
"The cores connect with one another via foyers in the roof and an underground service floor which houses the backstage area of each theatre."
Weiwuying’s Inauguration Season continues until 1 January 2019. Highlights include concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Maris Jansons; performances by Robert Lepage, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, La Fura dels Baus and Sydney Dance Company; the flagship biannual festival Taiwan Dance Platform.
Size: 141,000 m2
Project Design: 2007 - 2011
Project Realisation: 2010 - 2018
Address: Zhōngzhèng 1st Rd 7, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Client: Ministry of Culture (MoC)
Programme: Theatre complex in the Wei-Wu-Ying Metropolitan Park with a total capacity of 5861 seats: Concert Hall 1981 seats, Opera House 2236 seats, Playhouse 1210 seats, Recital Hall 434 seats, public library of 800 m2, rehearsal/education halls for music and dance, 2 congress halls with 100 and 200 chairs and stage building workshops. Including 7ha landscape.
Awards: 1st prize Cityscape Architectural Award, Dubai 2008; 3rd prize International Design Award, IDA Los Angeles 2009; Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award 2009; Digital prize at Idea-Tops Awards 2017.
All images © Iwan Baan
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