Quick Look: Taipei's Futuristic Performing Arts Center Looms Over Its Bustling Shilin Night Market - The Scene

It’s opening season has 37 productions in its lineup.

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has announced the completion of their Taipei Performing Arts Center in Taiwan. Commissioned by the Taipei City Government in 2009, the building is a 59,000-square-meter cultural landmark set above the famous Shilin Night Market. 

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OMA / Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten’s Taipei Performing Arts Center Completes from OMA on Vimeo.

Its official opening is set on August 7, and the Performing Arts Center is planning an opening season of 37 productions for traditional theater, dance, music, and VR productions. 

Beyond innovating with the structure’s futuristic design, OMA’s goal is to reinvent the way people experience live productions. 

“Contemporary performance theaters increasingly become standardized: a combination of two different-sized auditoria and a black box, with conservative internal operation principles for authentic work,” the Dutch architecture firm said in a statement.

Various elements

“Different from typical performance centers with front and back sides, Taipei Performing Arts Center has multiple faces defined by the theaters protruding above ground. With opaque facades, these theaters appear as mysterious elements against the animated and illuminated central cube clad in corrugated glass.”

They add that the “landscaped plaza” underneath the building is where the locals and tourists can enjoy Taipei’s vibrant metropolitan area.

Inside, three auditoriums can seat 4,600 guests, all in all. First, the “Globe Playhouse,” the stand-out element in the building, is meant to resemble a “planet docking against the cube.”

Secondly, the 1,500-seat “Grand Theater” caters to various performance types, while the 800-seat “Blue Box” is for exploratory presentations. The latter can open up to combine with the Grand Theater to create a 2,300-seat space. 

Alternative architecture

Pritzker Architecture Prize-winner and OMA co-founder Rem Koolhaas took a similar approach when designing the asymmetrical Beijing’s CCTV Headquarters. His designs are to encourage alternative forms for high-rise buildings. 

Once the Performing Arts Center opens, OMA will advance their new project, “Lantern,” a blueprint for Detroit’s contemporary art and community center. 

Images from oma.com

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