Nearly two years after OMA was announced winner of a two-stage international competition, the construction of the new Taipei Performing Arts Center has commenced. This ambitious project, led by OMA partners Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, generated a lot of debate among architects when it was announced back in 2009 due to its particular form. Morphed by a series of programatic operations, the form intersects three types of theater in order to accommodate a variety of performances.
The main theater, which seats 1,500, is expressed on the exterior as a large sphere while the two smaller theaters, each capable of seating 800, are represented as peripheric cubes. All the stage accommodations are brought together within the central cube, allowing for more flexibility as theaters can be used independently or combined, thus expanding the possibilities for experimental performances – an art which is very strong inTaiwan. At the same time, and in a similar way as OMA’s CCTV building in Beijing, China, a “public loop” channels circulation through the building, exposing the spaces that make the TPAC work, areas typically hidden from the public but are as revealing as the performances themselves.
In this aspect, the building is like a machine at work with its engine exposed, somehow reminding me of OMA’s Prada Transformer – a machine-like building (the anti-blob) that changed its configuration to host different types of events.
The 180 million dollar project is set to be completed in 2015. More details, including sections and updated renders, after the break: