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The Taipei Performing Arts Centre is a cultural and theatrical complex located in Shilin District, Taipei, Taiwan.
The project is being undertaken by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government, to promote the development of local performing arts groups, and to improve Taipei’s image as an international cultural hub.
OMA won the competition to design the Taipei Performing Arts Centre in January 2009, out of 135 entries. Construction of the complex began in February 2012, on a 20,750m2 site located next to the Shilin Night Market, and the building topped out in August 2014.
The centre is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015, with an estimated budget of TWD5.4bn ($170.5m), and will begin operation in the third quarter of 2016. It will be capable of hosting a wide range of performances, including contemporary drama, classical Chinese opera, modern dance and rock concerts.
The Taichung Convention Center, commissioned by the government of Taichung City, is the first state-sponsored project in Taiwan.
Design of the asymmetrical Taipei Performing Arts Centre
The design of the Taipei Performing Arts Centre is inspired by a traditional Chinese wood block puzzle, and will comprise three independent auditoriums, projecting out of a compact central cube. The building will include a 1,500-seat Grand Theatre, an 800-seat Multiform Theatre and an 800-seat Proscenium Playhouse.
The transparent central cube will house the foyers, stages, rehearsal rooms, and shared backstage space and mechanical facilities. The main seating areas of the three auditoriums will be cantilevered outside the cube, and supported above the ground by columns. The Grand Theatre and Multiform Theatre will project from the south and north face of the cube, while the Proscenium Playhouse will extend toward the train station and the green mountain.
The spherical Proscenium Playhouse resembles a suspended planet, which will be visible from a distance. A unique proscenium will be created at the intersection of the inner shell of the sphere and the cube, inside the auditorium.
The contemporary Grand Theatre will have an asymmetrical shape, with an angled floor and a movable ceiling. The folded plane in the interior will house the stage level, parterre, and balcony. The Multiform Theatre is designed as a black box theatre, opposite the Grand Theatre on the same level.
The Grand and Multiform theatres, which are at opposite ends of a horizontal axis, can be combined into a Super Theatre, which will have a factory-like environment and a 100m-long space to accommodate experimental theatrical performances.
A public loop will mediate through the theatres, backstage areas and production spaces, allowing the audience and general public to observe theatre production first-hand. This loop will start at the entry foyer, and lead to the roof of the building, which will hold an open air terrace with a bar for small outdoor performances.
Parking and plant rooms will be located in the single-story basement.
Structural features of the Taipei Performing Arts Centre
The exterior of the building will be made up of glass and aluminium. The central cube will be wrapped with corrugated glass, while the three theatres will be enveloped by large aluminium panels.
The theatres will feature double window and wall constructions to keep out unwanted noise and vibrations.
A base isolation structural system and a friction pendulum isolator system (FPS) will be included to support the irregular architectural form of the building. The base isolation system will reduce the seismic forces acting on the building, while the FPS will have a high bearing pressure that will support the large columns required for the building. The 12-story high steel structure, with a one-story basement, will rise above the isolation layer.
Beam-column and bracing frames around the cube structure will comprise the exterior framing systems, and provide stability to the building. The three cantilevered auditoriums protruding from the cube will be connected by truss systems.
Contractors involved with the Taipei Performing Arts Centre
Artech Architects is the local architect for the project, and IEC Group is responsible for building the structure. Arup provided consultation regarding structure, mechanical, electrical and public health engineering, building physics and fire engineering.
Taipei-based Evergreen Consulting Engineering is also providing structural engineering services, while Taiwan Fire Safety Consulting was involved with fire engineering services.
Heng Kai, and IS Leng and Associates Engineers are responsible for services engineering, and Sino Geotech was contracted as the geotechnical engineer.
ABT and CDC are the facade engineers, while Inside Outside is the interior and landscape designer for the project. Royal HaskoningDHV was the acoustic consultant for the project, and Ducks Scéno was the theatre consultant during the design phase.
Traffic consultation service was provided by Everest Engineering Consultants, with Segreene Design and Consulting responsible for sustainability consultation. Chroma33 is the lighting consultant for the project.
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