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