OMA’s Taipei Performing Arts Center gears up for summer grand opening
OMA’s Taipei Performing Arts Center is complete and gearing up for its grand opening season this summer
Its strong geometric shapes towering above the hustle and bustle of central Taiwan, the Taipei Performing Arts Center by OMA is finally complete. After a decade-long development and construction process, which had to deal with everything from architectural adjustments to delays caused by the bankruptcy of its main contractor, as well as the pandemic, Taiwan’s highly anticipated cultural center is now gearing up. to open its doors to the public with an official ceremony on August 7, 2022.
The architects behind it, OMA, with a team led by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, highlight its clever and flexible design, which incorporates three large theaters arranged around a central cube, while on the ground floor, urban life and a night market that previously occupied the site can continue to function as usual, inviting the community into the newly created architectural project.
Inside, there’s the 800-seat spherical proscenium theatre, Globe Playhouse; the Grand Théâtre, a 1,500-seat space for a wide variety of shows; and the 800-seat multifaceted theatre, Blue Box, which will host the cluster’s more experimental productions. The latter two can also be combined to become the 2,300-seat Super Theater, which can accommodate the largest possible events. A publicly accessible walkway leads visitors freely into and through the building, emphasizing this blend of the arts and daily community life.
Photography: Hsuan Lang Lin
“The configuration of three theaters plugged into a central cube has resulted in new inner workings of performance spaces to inspire unimaginable productions. The public loop exposes visitors with and without tickets to these new works and their creative processes. We are excited about how the building is constantly generating new relationships between artists, viewers and audiences,” says Gianotten.
Koolhaas adds: “Theatre has a very long tradition. We have seen contemporary performance halls become increasingly standardized, with conservative internal operating principles. We want to contribute to the history of theatre. Here in Taipei, we were able to combine three auditoriums in a special way. We are interested to see how this architecture will impact in terms of expanding what we can do in theatre.
The Taipei Performing Arts Center is planning an inaugural season full of performances, with a variety of events worthy of its impressive building. A total of 37 productions and 142 performances of all shapes and sizes have been scheduled to mark the official opening of this must-see cultural destination for the entire region. §