OPENING IN SIGHT FOR taipei performing arts center
the monumental taipei performing arts center designed by OMA will open its doors next summer in the city’s bustling shilin district. the massive 59,000 sqm complex comprises three theaters plugged into a central cube. the cultural building also features a public loop that invites people, with or without a ticket, to journey through the arts center and peer into performances and technical spaces typically hidden from view.
OMA won the design competition for taipei performing arts center back in 2009, with construction beginning in 2012. the project has been led by rem koolhaas and david gianotten, in collaboration with local architecture firm kris yao | artech and engineering company arup.
all images © OMA by chris stowers
‘with three theaters plugged into a central cube and a public loop, taipei performing arts center creates new internal workings of performing spaces, inspiring unimagined theatrical possibilities,’ said david gianotten, OMA managing partner – architect. ‘this is a new kind of theater for artists, audiences, and the public to explore the creative life in novel ways.’
the three theaters encompass an 800-seat spherical proscenium theater, a 1500-seat grand theater, and an 800-seat multiform theater, or ‘blue box’, which is designed to accommodate the most experimental performances. when coupled, the grand theater and multiform theaters become a 2,300-seat ‘super theater’.
the arts center is situated in taipei’s shilin district
rem koolhaas, OMA founding partner, commented, ‘taipei has a unique kind of creative energy that extends to every aspect of life. taipei performing arts center, formed with a strong technical core and the more emotional theaters docked against it in mutual dependency, at once embodies new organization for theater, and works as a fresh, intelligent icon that encapsulates the city’s creativity.’
the arts center will become the new headquarters for taiwan’s numerous performing arts groups. the building will embrace a variety of genres and functions, including cutting-edge theater, contemporary dance, musical theater, traditional opera, puppet theater and children’s theater. it will also serve as a laboratory for cross art-form experimentations and new creations.
the spherical theater seats 800 people
‘OMA has created for taipei a world class arts center for the world,’ said liu ruo-yu, chairman of taipei performing arts center. ‘we look forward to welcoming audiences as well as artists from across the globe to work with taiwanese artists to create new works that respond to most urgent issues facing our time. we hope taiwan will learn from the world through these international collaborations, as the world gains a greater understanding of the history, culture and people of taiwan.’
austin wang, CEO of taipei performing arts center, added, ‘the opening of taipei performing arts center is a major milestone for taipei becoming an international cultural arts hub. what started as an idea in 1997 and became a visual concept designed by OMA in 2007, is now an exciting reality for 2022 for all our public to enjoy. our mission is to become the center of creativity for taiwan’s contemporary life, where diverse talents and points of views across generations can mingle and flourish.’
see designboom’s previous coverage of taipei performing arts center here.
reflections on the façade
the monumental arts center will open in summer 2022
name: taipei performing arts center
location: taipei, taiwan
clients: department of cultural affairs, taipei city government
partners: rem koolhaas and david gianotten
architect of record: artech architects