Considered Asia’s most important cultural development in 2022, Taipei Performing Arts Center will open to the public in summer 2022. The new spectacular landmark of Taiwan’s capital city will become the epicentre of the island’s vibrant contemporary culture where no subject matter and technical demand is off limits.
Commissioned by the Taipei City Government to foster the development of the arts, the Center has been designed by a global team of the renowned architecture practice, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), led by Pritzker-Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, in collaboration with local architecture firm KRIS YAO | ARTECH and engineering company Arup.
The monumental 59,000-square-metre complex floats above the bustle of Taipei’s famous Shilin Night Market, renowned for its pulsating street life and as an international foodie destination. The futuristic design shatters the standardised model of contemporary theaters and embraces inclusivity, reflecting the liveliness and open-mindedness of Taipei and its people.
Taipei Performing Arts Center comprises three theaters plugged into a lifted central cube that invites the city’s street life on site. The spherical 800-seat proscenium theater, Globe Playhouse, resembles a planet docking against the cube. Grand Theater is a 1500-seat space for a wide variety of performing arts genres. Opposite to it and on the same level is the 800-seat multiform theater, Blue Box, for the most experimental performances. When coupled, the two theaters become the 2,300-seat Super Theater, a massive space with factory quality. Equipped with facilities to meet the most challenging pyrotechnical demands of contemporary theater, the spaces have been specially designed to offer new theatrical opportunities.
The general public, with or without a ticket, is invited into the center through a public loop that runs through the theater’s infrastructure and production spaces typically hidden from view. Portal windows along the loop allow visitors to peer into performances and technical spaces between the theaters.
Taipei Performing Art Center will become the new headquarters for Taiwan’s numerous performing arts groups embracing cutting-edge theater, contemporary dance, musical theater, traditional opera and puppet theater, children’s theater as well as serve as a laboratory for cross art-form experimentations and new creations.
Liu Ruo-yu, Chairman of Taipei Performing Arts Center, said: ‘OMA has created for Taipei a world class arts centre for the world. We look forward to welcoming audiences as well as artists from across the globe to work with Taiwanese artists to create new works that respond to most urgent issues facing our time. We hope Taiwan will learn from the world through these international collaborations, as the world gains a greater understanding of the history, culture and people of Taiwan.’
Austin Wang, CEO of Taipei Performing Arts Center, said: ‘The opening of Taipei Performing Arts Centre is a major milestone for Taipei becoming an international cultural arts hub. What started as an idea in 1997 and became a visual concept designed by OMA in 2007, is now an exciting reality for 2022 for all our public to enjoy. Our mission is to become the centre of creativity for Taiwan’s contemporary life, where diverse talents and points of views across generations can mingle and flourish.’
David Gianotten, OMA Managing Partner – Architect said: ‘With three theaters plugged into a central cube and a public loop, Taipei Performing Arts Center creates new internal workings of performing spaces, inspiring unimagined theatrical possibilities. This is a new kind of theater for artists, audiences, and the public to explore the creative life in novel ways.’
Rem Koolhaas, OMA Founding Partner said: ‘Taipei has a unique kind of creative energy that extends to every aspect of life. Taipei Performing Arts Center, formed with a strong technical core and the more emotional theaters docked against it in mutual dependency, at once embodies new organization for theater, and works as a fresh, intelligent icon that encapsulates the city’s creativity.’