Zerafa Studio's design for new museum in Taipei delivers contemporary art to the community
The NTCArt should propose a new paradigm for celebrating art in Taipei, one that brings lifestyle, art and education together to celebrate a vibrant cultural identity for the community. The Park, located at the meeting of the Yingge and Dahan rivers, is one that immediately reveals a dynamic juxtaposition between its constructed nature and the density and 'urban' scale of the surrounding hillside.
The design celebrates this juxtaposition, and proposes a dramatic physical intervention into the Yingge park landscape in the form of a line. Not unlike Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, or the meandering walls of Andy Goldsworthy, this line defines a path at a scale that is not immediately legible, yet acts as an ordering element in the landscape. The line emerges from the park at a continuous slope and follows a spiral path that terminates centrally within the site. Its monumental scale is born of the undulating contours of the park while the spiral movement into the site is a natural response to the twisting momentum of the two diverging rivers that define the park.
Within this spiral, the museum’s programmatic spaces are loosely organised in a terraced composition rotating around the central void. The typical galleries and are conceived as individual 3-dimensional objects. Viewed in the round, these objects are given scale and identity, and yet they are clustered together to create a complex urban form recalling the dense composition of buildings that dot the surrounding hills and images of the cascading hill town of Jiufen.
Circulation through the museum is an experience of discovery, not unlike the experience of exploring a hilltown. As a counterpoint, the spiral line determines a more direct circulation path through the museum. Layered behind a ceramic screen wall, this volume contains stairs connecting each terrace level and serves as the link to breakout spaces adjacent to the galleries. The exposed exterior surfaces of the galleries, sides, top and underside provide multiple neutral canvases for nonconventional exhibition use.
It will be difficult to predict where the art will be found as the in-between spaces and surfaces become opportunities for display. The art will reveal itself in new and surprising places, suspended within the void, appearing on the ledges and terraces, projected onto the many surfaces and engaging with the robust physicality of the building.
Conversely, the Children’s Museum is conceived as a container distinct from the main Museum, within which individual program elements and exterior voids are arranged. It is located where the screen wall emerges from the landscape to provide an immediate relationship to both the lobby and the park. Within this 'toybox' in the park, children are encouraged to experience the park and museum together as the limits of each are left undefined.
Design Architect: ZERAFA STUDIO LLC. Associate Architect: Gregory T Waugh AIA Structural Engineer: Gilsanz Murray Steficek LLP.