Taiwan’s Taipei Performing Arts Center Opens
The brand new $220 million performing arts venue, which houses three unique theaters, has officially opened to the public
Created by The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) based in the Netherlands, in collaboration with Taiwanese design studio Kris Yao Artech, the Taipei Performing Arts Center (TPAC) is the product of OMA’s winning of a competition to design the center in 2009.
The project was commissioned by the Taipei City Government to support local performing arts groups. Project completion was initially set for 2013, however, construction did not begin until 2012, and topped out in 2014.
Opened by Taipei’s mayor, Ko Wen-je, the venue is situated above Taiwan’s largest and most popular Shilin Night Market. It is the hope that concert performances are able to reach new and wider audiences through this location.
Led by OMA architects Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, the venue comprises three theaters: a spherical 800-seat Globe Playhouse, a 1,500-seat Grand Theater, and an 800-seat Blue Box. The latter two theaters are connected to a central cube that allows them to form a Super Theater.
A landscaped plaza sits beneath the central cube, which is raised above the ground to accommodate the space. TPAC also includes a walkway lined with portal windows that enables the public, whether they have a concert ticket or not, to look into the building and watch orchestras rehearse.
“When we first visited Taipei for the competition, we felt it was a city with an appetite for experimentation,” Koolhaas explained about TPAC’s design. “This building is a response to that discovery. We put three traditional theaters together in a way that offers theater makers completely new opportunities to conceive spectacles and performances.”
“TPAC presents to the citizens of Taipei a peculiar yet familiar place,” continued Kris Yao of Kris Yao Artech. “In many ways, it is new, foreign, and extraordinary; but at the same time, it is friendly, intimate, and amicable. It fits perfectly into the eccentric characteristics of Taipei, and people love it. It is a true public building in its fullest sense.”
The venue opened on August 7, 2022, with a performance by the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, marking the start of their season of productions and concerts to be presented across the three theaters.
A video introducing TPAC can be watched below.
OMA was founded in Rotterdam in 1975 by Koolhaas with Elia Zenghelis, Madelon Vriesendorp, and Zoe Zenghelis. The architecture studio also has offices in New York, Doha, Sydney, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Dubai.