The principle behind the design by Behnisch Architekten for the new Contemporary Art Museum is for art to be experienced through a multitude of perspectives and perceptions. Art is not an isolated experience. Views change, rooms change and thus perception is altered. In order for art to take on a lifestyle quality it needs to be accessible. Contemporary art should be able to be viewed from the outside in, from across the landscape, from above, from below and through a series of lenses, both visual and cultural. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The museum program can be simplified into five categories; exhibition, learning, circulation, administration and services. We propose to interweave the exhibition spaces with the education spaces and the administration space. This created a dynamic relationship between passive and interactive experiences.
The exhibition spaces are linked through subtle ramping yet branch off as independent zones. The branches can be linked together in order to combine exhibit rooms together. This basic spatial condition creates flexibility with very little need to move partitions.
The unique park setting between the Dahan River and the Yingge Township provides the opportunity for the new museum to connect and enhance the relationship between the city, park and river. The city is at the level of +50 meters and the park is approximately at +40 meters. With this in mind, the Yingge Township is connected to the museum via a bridge over Huan-he Road, linking visitors to the site through a +50 meter exterior public concourse. At this level the arcade shops and restaurants can be utilized through a series of exterior pathways thus creating a museum marketplace. The market can be in operation independently from the museum and can serve as a night market in the park.
The park maintains its connection under the museum between the Art Theme Park and the Ceramic Sculpture Park. Bike paths and walking paths also continue under the museum where the building itself lightly touches the ground at the large exhibit room for the permanent collection. Park visitors will be able to see this exhibit room from the park ground, thus revealing aspects of the museum. The grand light well from the museum extends down to the park level bringing natural light. Outdoor exhibits can be held both under the museum at the +40 meter level and at the Yingge Concourse at the +50 meter level.
Environmental and Structural Ideas
Given that Taipei’s environment is often warm and humid, it is important to manage these conditions inside a museum. Our first proposal is to use water walls both inside and outside of the museum. The exterior water wall is located inside the light well and will cool the marketplace air. The second water wall is located in the museum lobby and cascades three floors. This wall will temper the humid air and the heat. Once inside the museum, chilled slabs continue to cool the interior space. Ventilation is important in order to keep the air moving.
LED lighting is also proposed for the museum. Not only do the LED lights decrease energy demand, but they also do not give off any heat. This helps to keep the museum at a comfortable temperature.
The proposed structure is a simple concrete bubble deck supported with thin steel columns. The bubble deck affords long spans since it is a biaxial hollow deck. In addition, can also accommodate radiant pex tubing for the cool slab and embedded LED lighting.
Given the local history of ceramic making in the Yingge Township, we propose to use a terra cotta façade cladding. Terra Cotta is a good material for moist climates and will continue the legacy of ceramic design.