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The Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural and Popular Music Center, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Thursday 29 Sep 2011

Making pop art

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Kubota & Bachmann Architects plan to transform Kaoshiung Portlands area into cultural and popular music centre 

The ambition of the project and its composition allow it to serve as the focal point of the revitalisation of the Kaoshiung Portlands area. The complex reacts to the grey, dreary site by injecting revitalising colour into the space. With its diverse cultural programme, the project introduces vitality and variety to the industrial site, transforming the atmosphere of the space both spatially and emotionally.

The Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural and Popular Music Center invites the discovery of colour, in all its forms. Here, colour is not simply a pretext.  It does not merely impose itself on viewers, but lends itself to individual exploration. In its harmonious contradictions, the project becomes a process of participation and creation, even within its construction.

The project's rich colour scheme is complimented by the underlying relationship between black and white. At first glance, white dominates the project's façade. After further observation, black is present in shadows created by dim lighting, emphasising all the colours of the rainbow. 

Harmony, represented by large, white, tranquil and ethereal volumes, prevails over the vibrant colours of the rooftop terraces which act as physical manifestations of a multitude of melodic pop rhythms. According to Kandinsky; "Form itself can exist alone. We cannot conceive of colour without limit." For this reason, colour plays an active role in the design by mediating and magnifying formally-defined volumetric units such as the cylinders of the Popular Music Center and shipping containers of the Maritime Cultural Center. Colour acts as a 'Rainbow Bridge', linking the building to the project's oasis. It is the harmonising factor between the complex's diverse programmes.

In the 'song garden', Kaohsiung discovers a new emblem. Pop music transforms the port and resonates throughout the entire Island of Taiwan. Successions of platforms inspired by the pivotal moments in the evolution of international music create a walkable landscape on the building's rooftop terraces. This surface is punctuated by diverse colours which correlate to various activities. On green, we dance; on red, we sing; on yellow, we relax. On indigo, we feel the city, and on orange, we experience the sea.

Each of the monochromatic gardens is unique. Carefully selected plants chosen for their permanent colours create a brilliantly variegated mosaic. 

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Kubota & Bachmann Architects

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