OMA just took part of a topping out ceremony today to celebrate the placement of the last construction beam on the Taipei Performing Arts Center (TPAC). Selected as the winning entry in a 2009 design competition, the OMA-designed structure will consist of three theaters of varying shapes "plugged" into a transparent central cube. The topping out ceremony was also attended by Taipei's mayor Hau Lung-pin, OMA's design partner KRIS YAO | ARTECH of Taipei, along with other city government representatives.
OMA sought to break the conventional mold of performance center design by creating a structure that embraced flexible programming and experimental theater production. Their final design consists of three independently functioning theaters–a 1,500-seat Grand Theater, an 800-seat Multiform Theater, and an 800-seat Proscenium Playhouse–that intersect a central corrugated glass volume which ties all the stages and backstage spaces into one area. The spatial organization also creates an opportunity for the Grand Theater and the Multiform Theater to be merged into a 330-foot-long “Super Theater.”
“This arrangement allows the stages to be coupled for unsuspected scenarios and uses,” says Rem Koolhaas. “The design offers the advantages of specificity with the freedoms of the undefined.” To create street-level engagement, the TPAC’s central core is elevated off the ground to create a public plaza below that’s connected with a public circulation path. Façade construction of TPAC will begin in October 2014 with the main construction scheduled for completion in 2015.
Images via OMA, Photography by Philippe Ruault