Photographs reveal Taipei performance centre nearing completion
Innovative OMA design re-imagines theatre typology
New photographs reveal OMA’s Performing Arts Centre is nearing completion in Taipei. One of the first competitions sent to members of our tender alert service, an open international contest was launched in 2008 by the City Government for a world-class performance venue consisting of a 1500-seat grand theatre and 2 further 800-seat theatres. OMA were selected as the winners with a design that departed from the usual configuration of a large auditorium, smaller performance space and black box studio.
When drawing up the concept, the designers explored how exciting theatrical productions often take place outside formal spaces. They formulated a new approach for purpose-built venues that could offer fresh performance opportunities, moving away from the limits imposed by established theatrical design principles largely dating from the 19th century.
The three theatres plug into a central cube, which contains all the stages, backstages and support areas and allows the various stages to be modified or merged. The distinctive Proscenium Playhouse resembles a suspended planet docking with the cube, while The Grand Theatre has a slightly asymmetrical shape containing various levels all unified into a folded plane. The Multiform Theatre is a flexible space designed to accommodate experimental performances, which can be coupled with the Grand Theatre to form a factory-like environment called the Super Theatre. This vast space can accommodate productions such as B.A. Zimmermann's opera Die Soldaten (1958), which demands a 100-metre-long stage.
Visitors curious about the performance centre will be invited to enter The Public Loop, a trajectory through the infrastructure and production spaces that would normally be concealed in a more conventional venue. This Loop enables the audience members to experience theatre productions more fully, while allowing the institution to engage with a broader public.
TenderStream Head of Research
This competition was first published by TenderStream on 01.08.2008 here