Nearly two years after OMA was announced the 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 programmatic operations, the form intersects three types of theater in order to accommodate a variety of performances. The Proscenium Playhouse, which seats 800, is expressed on the exterior as a large sphere while the other two theaters, respectively capable of seating 1,500 and 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 that is very strong in Taiwan. 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 are hidden from the public but are as revealing as the performances themselves.
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