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May 16, 2022

OMA-designed Taipei Performing Arts Center to open in August

Located at Shilin Night Market, this centre will serve as a place for new possibilities in performing arts.

OMA-designed Taipei Performing Arts Center has been completed and is scheduled to officially open on 7 August 2022.

Commissioned in 2009 by the Taipei City Government, the 59,000m² centre will serve as a cultural landmark, reported Dezeen.

Located at Taipei’s Shilin Night Market, the centre, with its compact yet flexible space, will serve as a place to explore new possibilities in performing arts.

It features a unique form, with three auditoriums extending from a central cuboid volume.

The building comprises a spherical 800-seat Globe Playhouse, a 1,500-seat Grand Theatre, and an 840-seat Blue Box plugged into a central cube.

This cube houses the stages and back stages, as well as the support spaces of the three theatres. It also allows the Grand Theatre and the Blue Box to join together to form a Super Theatre.

The Globe Playhouse, with a proscenium, enables experimentation with stage framing.

Lifted off the ground, the central cube creates a landscaped plaza.

From the central cube, a Public Loop with portal windows provides a view inside the three theatres.

The project is led by OMA founding partner Rem Koolhaas, OMA managing partner and architect David Gianotten Gianotten, and project director Chiaju Lin, along with Taiwanese design collaborator Kris Yao | Artech.

Among the design consultants are Inside Outside, Arup, dUCKS Scéno, and Royal HaskoningDHV.

Koolhaas said: “Theatre has a very long tradition. We have seen contemporary performance theatres increasingly becoming standardised, with conservative internal operation principles. We want to contribute to the history of the theatre.

“Here in Taipei, we were able to combine three auditoria in a particular way. We are interested to see how this architecture will have an impact in terms of extending what we can do in theatre.”

Gianotten said: “The configuration of three theatres plugged into a central cube has resulted in new internal workings of the performing spaces to inspire unimagined productions. The Public Loop exposes visitors with and without tickets to these new works, and their creative processes. We are excited by how the building constantly generates new relationships between artists, spectators, and the public.”

Artech founder Kris Yao said: “This new building not only presents itself to the world as a brand new and unique configuration of theatre complexes, it also sits perfectly in its location right at the centre where the plebian life of Taipei happens. Its informal, unpretentious, and raw architecture spaces echo the spirits of how citizens of Taipei approach art.”

The performing arts centre features several faces defined by the protruding auditoria, which is different from the usual performance centres that have a front and a back side.

OMA stated that the auditoria feature opaque facades that appear as ‘mysterious elements docking against the animated and illuminated central cube clad in corrugated glass’.

Test performances at the centre were held between March and May 2022.

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