Mecanoo designed the National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts, located on a former military terrain, as an integral part of the adjacent subtropical park to have a positive social impact on the residents of Kaohsiung whose population counts almost 3 million.
Inspired by the local Banyan trees with their iconic crowns, the vast, undulating structure is composed of a skin and roof, and connects an extensive range of functions. The curved steel structure was built in cooperation between a local and a Dutch shipbuilder. Underneath this roof is Banyan Plaza, a generous, sheltered public space. Residents can wander through here day and night, practice Tai Chi or stage street performances along walkways and in informal spaces.
An open-air theatre nestles on the roof where the structure curves to the ground. Designed with the subtropical climate in mind, the open structure allows the wind to blow freely through Banyan Plaza. The seamless flow between interior and exterior creates opportunities for crossovers between formal and informal performances.
The theatres are located in the five cores or ‘legs’ of the building where the structure meets the ground. The cores connect with one another via foyers in the roof and an underground service floor which houses the backstage area of each theatre.
Programme: Theatre complex of 141,000 m2 with Concert Hall 1,981 seats, Opera House 2,236 seats, Playhouse 1,210 seats, Recital Hall 434 seats, 1,000 m2 of rehearsal/education halls, exhibition space, 2 conference halls with 100 and 200 seats and stage building workshops.
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