a ceremony and inaugural concert marked the official opening of taiwan’s national arts center, the ‘national kaohsiung centre for the arts, weiwuying’. the undulating structure was designed by dutch firm mecanoo and incorporates a 2,236-seat opera house, a 1,981-seat concert hall, a 1,210-seat playhouse, a 434-seat recital hall, and an outdoor theater. the colossal project serves as a new cultural hub for east asia. the formal qualities of the project together with the open and artistically focused program works to combine artistic excellence with openness and accessibility. the heart of ‘weiwuying’ is a vast, sheltered plaza encouraging pedestrian engagement and is host to a wide-range of public programs.

mecanoo taiwan weiwuying
the undulating structure takes its formal inspiration from the canopies of the local banyan trees
image © iwan baan (also main image)

 

 

the project is sited within a a 116-acre park that was formerly a military training base in kaohsiung — an international port city in southern taiwan with a population of 3 million. a ceremony in the concert hall marked the beginning of the opening festivities. guests included the president of the republic of china (taiwan) tsai ing-wen, and many high-ranking representatives from the worlds of politics and culture. for the occasion, addresses were given by both the president as well as the founding partner and creative director of mecanoo, francine houben. 

mecanoo taiwan weiwuying
an open-air theater nestles on the roof of the building 
image © iwan baan

 

 

as taiwan’s most significant cultural investment in a generation, the ‘national kaohsiung center for the arts, weiwuying’, incorporates state-of-the-art performance spaces, covering a surface area of 35 acres. an open-air theater nestles on the roof where the structure curves to the ground, with the surrounding park forming the stage. designed with the subtropical climate in mind, the open structure allows the wind to blow freely through the covered plaza. the seamless flow between interior and exterior creates opportunities for crossovers between formal and informal performances. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

mecanoo taiwan weiwuying
‘banyan plaza’ is a space that connects the venue’s various programs
image © iwan baan

mecanoo taiwan weiwuying
skylights help illuminate the sheltered reception area
image © iwan baan

mecanoo taiwan weiwuying
the scheme is the world’s largest performing arts center under one roof
image © iwan baan

mecanoo taiwan weiwuying
the concert hall has 1,981 seats
image © iwan baan


the recital hall accommodates up to 434 guests
image © iwan baan

mecanoo taiwan
the structure undulating exterior
image © iwan baan

mecanoo taiwan weiwuying
mecanoo describes the venue as one of its ‘most ambitious’ buildings
image © iwan baan

mecanoo taiwan weiwuying
see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here
image © iwan baan

  • Congrats to all the team, impressive!

    AXEL DE STAMPA says:
  • This is not the world’s largest performing arts center. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC is bigger. The Kennedy Center’s opera house seats 2,300, its concert hall seats 2,443, its playhouse seats 1, 163 and its recital hall seats 513. It has two additional theaters: the family theatre which seats 324 and the theatre lab that seats 399. There are also three more informal performance spaces: the jazz club and two stages for free daily performances.

    Robert Hall says:

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