Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts / Mecanoo

© Courtesy of , Render by Luxigon

Mecanoo’s Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts has broken ground in Kaohsiung with a festive public celebration hosted by President Ma Ying-jeou and attended by Architect Francine Houben. The new cultural complex will be the largest in Asia at 141,000 sqm, featuring the most modern in theatre technology, housing a concert hall with 2000 seats, an opera house with 2250 seats, a playhouse with 1250 seats, a recital hall with 500 seats, a public library and studios for music and dance.

The Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts sits in the northeast corner of the metropolitan park, which functions as a great green lung for Kaohsiung. The center is not only the first performing arts facility in southern Taiwan, but also the largest investment in culture and the arts made by the Taiwanese government in the last two decades. The center promises to be the new icon for the 2.7 million residents of Kaohsiung and marks the transition from a port city to a modern, cultural metropolis.

© Courtesy of Mecanoo, Render by Luxigon

Francine Houben, founding architect and creative director of Mecanoo, based her design on Dutch architectural concepts which involves the seamless integration with the surrounding landscape. Inspired by the lush banyan trees in Wei-Wu-Ying Park, she created the organic and liberal theme for the Center’s design. The tree trunks, aerial routes and shade create a space dotted with openings which allow fresh air to flow. Through the integration of the open space, the green belt and the vast area itself, the Center and the Park become one.

The great roof provides shade and protection from Taiwan’s tropical climate and forms an informal public space where city residents can stroll, practice Tai Chi, meditate or just relax. Inspired by ancient Greek theatre, an outdoor seating area on the roof was created, just at the point where the roof dips to the ground. The surrounding park in turn becomes an informal stage. The park features light slopes, valleys and water pools creating intimate public spaces.

© Courtesy of Mecanoo, Render by Luxigon

Programme: Theatre complex of 141,000 sqm in the Wei-Wu-Ying Metropolitan Park with a total capacity of 6,000 seats: Concert Hall 2,000 seats, Opera House 2,250 seats, Playhouse 1,250 seats, Recital Hall 500 seats, public library of 800 sqm, 1,000 sqm of rehearsal/education halls for music and dance and stage building workshops.

Design: 2007-2009
Execution: 2010-2013
Client: Preparatory Office of The Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts of the Council for Cultural Affairs, Taiwan Architect: Mecanoo architecten, Delft, The Netherlands
Local architect: Archasia Design Group, , Taiwan
Structural engineer: Supertech, Taipei, Taiwan
Mechanical engineer: Yuan Tai, Taipei, Taiwan
Electrical engineer: Heng Kai, Taipei, Taiwan
Acoustic consultant: Xu Acoustique, Paris, France
Theatre consultant: Theateradvies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Yi Tai, Taipei, Taiwan
Lighting consultant: CWI lighting, Taipei, Taiwan
Organ consultant: Oliver Latry, Paris, France
3D advisor: Lead Dao, Taipei, Taiwan

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concept diagram 02
concept diagram 01
Cite: Saieh, Nico. "Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts / Mecanoo" 08 Apr 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Aug 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=55643>

11 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    More image work from Luxigon no doubt……….nice images with very little architecture to speak of.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    How many more of these self absorbed buildings can one appreciate. It is as if many european architects loose their sensibilities when working in other countries. I suppose some blame could be laid at the door of the clients. Also cant see how this ediface fits into its context?

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The location of Google map was wrong, Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts was in Kaohsiung, which is in the south part of Taiwan.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The rendering is looks different compare with the render I saw few years ago.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Such great project happening in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
    Again, after Richard Rodgers(who designed R9 tube station entry), local people will happy to see different “architecture language” in Kaohsiung. we believe its a great value for future generations.(高雄人)

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Fundamentally, it’s the same conceptual and formal strategy as the one employed in Mecanoo’s recently completed La Llotja de Lleida in Spain. Albeit in this instance it is based on tunnels formed by trees as opposed to mountains. Personally, I think the semidiaphaneity of tree canopy with shimmering speckles of light is more consistently expressed in the original competition scheme in which the building skin is composed of varying size and density of perforations. From the rendering it seems the skin is now solid, but punctuated with areas of light to simulate the effect of sun light filtering through tree canopy. The scheme appears to have lost the sense of light and airiness.

    However, what I found to be the most significant architecturally is the introduction of the exposed trusses. For me this bring to the surface a competing mode of conceptual operation, namely one based on structural rationale in its most uncompromising form to the metaphorical operation that has sustained the scheme from the beginning. Interestingly, the trusses are treated in a way as to emerge from under the skin of the building, coinciding one might say with structural rationale’s position within the very interiority of architecture. In contrast, the metaphorical can be seen to operate in the exteriority of architecture. It feels quite disjunct despite the attempt to create a smooth transition between the two. Perhaps this disjunctiveness is the desired effect? Or it arose simply and necessarily as a practical solution to the large cantilever?

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This looks exactly like the Rolex Learning Center…only this one just got started. Anyone else see the resemblance (read: ripoff)?

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