Within this past month we featured STL, Sun & Associates and Maxwan’s proposal for the Kaohsiung Competition. Now, Ojanen Chiou shares with us their design for a Marine and Pop Music Center where they are aiming to bring the waterfront spaces of the marine port and the urban edge of the community together. The dynamic qualities of the form demonstrate not only a cultural heritage, but a look into the future of pop music cultures and activities for the city. More images and architect’s description after the break.
Like the warm southern Taiwan sun, Kaohsiung people are known to be passionate and unpretentious with an enthusiastic, vigorous character. Our design seeks to reflect this character while expressing the raw energy of the local pop music scene.
The macro-planning strategy entails bringing the waterfront open spaces and community together by the strategically re-grading portions of the existing elevated bicycle path that currently creates a spatial barrier between city and harbor. The west parcel becomes an extension of the existing park. The east parcel becomes a semi-enclosed “free-zone”, functioning as an open air market, solar farm, and event parking area.
The two sides of the site are bridged by an iconic mega-structure supporting a condensed nexus of marine, urban, and pop music activities. Positioned at the end of the wharf area, this armature becomes a stage at the scale of the harbor. The form of the building, with its gantry-like geometry and character, evokes the industrial/rational heritage and enormous scale of the site, while expressing the irrational dynamism, ephemerality, and future forward madness of pop music culture.
Within the building, traditional functional boundaries are eroded, allowing for a non-linear experience through a dynamic, interactive spatial and cultural environment. Strategic programmatic adjacencies allow visitors a view behind the scenes and into the inner workings of the building and industry. The fragmentation of various public, semi-public and non-pubic functions and their reconnection through interwoven circulation routes, fosters interaction among the performers, industry professional, and visitors, bridging the gap between producer and consumer.
Ground level commercial, marine cultural, and performance lobby connect the urban edge and the immediate waterfront. A raised platform containing the outdoor performance venue brings visitors up to a level relating to the deck of a container ship. A mid-level observation catwalk suspended above the water brings visitors in contact with the larger port area and the horizon, while a tower relates to the sea and larger urban context. Macro patterning throughout the organization is inspired by the coral reef geomorphology of prominent Shou Mountain nearby.
Featured spaces include:
- “Coral Park” – An extension of the existing park at the west parcel. - “Coral Plaza” – Main entry plaza: a series of floating docks creating the experience of leaving the land and entering the marine realm. - “Ocean Breeze Lawn” – Main outdoor performance/ event venue. - “Starry Net” – Provides shading during daytime performance and turns into interactive light show corresponding to the various events at night. - “Love Triangle” – Connects “Coral Park” and the main building. A grassy area suspended above the river between the multi-level pathways provides a space for people-watching and from which to view the flow of the river, passage of boats, ferries, and time. - “Music Carrier Hall” – A vessel supported within the main structure: main performance space with foyers projecting over the entry plaza as a “ship’s hull” defining “Coral Plaza” below and creating a “stage” presenting the events within to the city. - “Backstage Pass” – The pop music exhibit center: starts at the lobby level near the entrance to the marine culture center. An escalator ascends through the side stage volume giving visitors a commanding view of the harbor and backstage tour on the way to the main exhibit. - “Guitar Hero Tower” – A tourist destination offering panoramic views of the sea and city, and a marine and urban navigational beacon marking the point at where Love River meets ocean and corresponding to other landmark buildings (Tuntex 85 and Hanshin building). Within the tower, small music venues, music incubator and commercial zones are entwined in a structural matrix through which a vertical extension of the park is interwoven. Proximity of functions and circulation paths encourage interaction and cross-pollination among performer, producer and public (consumer). - “Floating Horizon” – Observation deck suspended high above the harbor by “Guitar Hero” tower provides the best spot from which to view the sunrise and sunset
Primary sustainable feature include a green roof, a diaphanous metal skin that shades the building from the harsh sun while allowing natural ventilation and views to the outside, PV panel canopy over the open-air market/parking area, and geothermal heating and cooling using the harbor as a heat sink.