Some things get better the longer you wait, like wine or cheese. But how about the cultural landmark that is Taipei Performing Arts Centre, recently completed after a 10 years in the making? Well, it turns out it was worth the decade.
Out of the central cuboid structure of the unusually-shaped 59,000-square-metre building boasts three separate theatres: the spherical 800-seat Globe Playhouse, 840-seat Blue Box, and 1500-seat Grand Theatre. The latter two can also be combined into a super-theatre of sorts.
“We have seen contemporary performance theatres increasingly becoming standardised, with conservative internal operation principles,” says building designer Rem Koolhas.
The founding partner of Dutch architectural firm OMA, Koolhas adds he’s keen to see how their design can “extend what we can do in theatre.”
Each individual stage, backstage and support stages are contained in the building’s elevated central cube, which offers a landscaped plaza. This, combined with a free-to-access thoroughfare dubbed the Public Loop, draws crowds, allowing the public to soak in the culture without committing to a ticket.
Excellent news, considering that the centre is situated in the uber-popular Shilin Night Market, and was built without affecting the beloved tourist attraction.
“We are excited by how the building constantly generates new relationships between artists, spectators, and the public,” says co-designer David Gianotten of OMA.
That’s great news, considering the construction took three times longer than expected, and bankrupted the main contractor. But with the centre finally opening on August 7, it’s true some things are worth waiting for.