OMA wins competition for the Taipei Performing Arts Centre

After a two-phase international competition (with offices such as Morphosis, Abalos+Sentkiewicz, MVRDV and Zaha Hadid), has been awarded the first prize in the design competition to build the new Performing Arts Centre.

The project, led by Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, is based on 3 theaters (1 x 1,500 seats – the round one, 2 x 800 seats – cubes) which are plugged into a central cube cladded with corrugated glass. This scheme puts all the stage accommodations of the 3 theaters into the central cube, allowing for more flexibility as theaters can be used independently or combined, expanding the possibilities for experimental performances – an art which is very strong on the country. This new arrangement of stage and seatings includes a public circulation that exposes parts of the backstage to the public.

And now, my comments on the form.

I know that some of you will freak out with this, but if you have been to Taipei you´ll know that the local architecture is very figurative (ie: Taipei 101 as a bamboo stick/pagoda), so I think that this potent geometrical shapes we see on the models are the result of that, adapting to the local culture.

Also, this new disposal of the service/to-be-served spaces on a “theatrical” configuration brings to my mind the Seattle Public Library and how it changed the typical library approach, resulting on a new experience.

But still, it doesn´t blow my mind as other OMA projects have done in the past. Or am I missing something?

Cite: Basulto, David. "OMA wins competition for the Taipei Performing Arts Centre" 27 Jan 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 21 Sep 2014. <>


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    I think we need more information on the project to make a judgement, afterall it should never be about form otherwise neil denari or zaha hadid would have won.

    It would also be nice to see the other entries and some information on them to speculate on the judging of the design; where there other factors that informed the decision to chose OMA’s design? It would be interesting to know.

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    i like it, of course we would need more drawings and images, but it reminds me the amazing project for the bibliotheque nationale in paris, that didnt win at the end. i’ m sure they are referring to that particular design and that OMA will develop the same idea further.
    the night visual however is awful. but i love the side view of the maquette model. its fasinating!

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    For me, the genius of OMA’s TRÈS GRANDE BIBLIOTHÈQUE was that volumes were formed by a reductive gesture. Yet other Rem projects use an additive method (Jersey City), but this project seems to be torn between the two methods with a confusing and awkward result. The TGB competition was also held 10 years ago- maybe it’s time to move on…
    The basic cuboid volume is very similar to the Wyly Theatre, I agree with Scott, and one addition to this may have worked, but not all of them. Would definitely welcome further material (and design development).

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      based on this material it is not possible to compare it with the wyly theatre. Not even when you only look at form, not close.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This reminds me of Rem’s early work and also archigram’s plug in city, and of course even venturi scott brown w/ that large exterior monitor. But I have to wonder, if built, what will be the fate of this building in fifty years? Is there a predicted life span before it’s totally demolished?

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    wow, this is horrendous. I can’t believe someone can actually come up with this after all the good (and bad) things that are being done nowadays.

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    As a Taiwanese I think it fits the urban context in Taiwan.
    Mix, flexibility, and not necessary beautiful in someway.
    I also look forward to see the section.

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    i think the entry is really queer,even though it does fit the context arround, but it doesn’t mean it’s part of the nightmarket.
    imagine you stroll along the streets and suddenly enter the performing arts centre of taipei, isn’t that really strage?

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    When An office copies his own style, it s stupid,,,for example: Frank Gehry ,,,,In this case it s even more horrible,,,because OMA makes a very bad remake of it s own style in a very superficial way,,,There is no innovation,,,,no contextualization and no poesy….there maye be some formal radicalism,,,,SO this building is shity,,,just like most of the new projects of OMA,,,,,

    At list the comments are interresting

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    this is just as bad as our OCAD building here in toronto… but the world is filled with ugly things and people just eat it up. go figure.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Count the number of responses so far…Everyone wants to talk about it. Other projects don’t generate this kind of chatter.

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