Taipei Performing Arts Centre by OMA



Architects Office for Metropolitan Architecture have won a competition to design a new performing arts centre in Taipei, Taiwan.


The design comprises three auditoriums, positioned around a corrugated glass cube that contains the backstage areas for each theatre.


The three theatres can be combined or used separately.


Building is due for completion in 2013.


Here's some more information from OMA:


OMA to build Taipei Performing Arts Centre

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has been awarded the first prize in the design competition to build the Taipei Performing Arts Centre. The design, led by OMA partners Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren, was selected from over 135 entries from 24 countries by an international jury.

The scheme includes a 1,500 seat theatre and two 800 seat theatres which plug into a central cube, clad in corrugated glass, that combines the stage accommodations of the three theatres in a single whole. Each theatre can be used independently or in combination with the other theatres. Connecting the different theatres offers new and experimental theatrical possibilities. A public trajectory inside the cube exposes parts of the backstage areas otherwise hidden in typical theatres. The cube is placed on a socle preserving the existing lively local food market.

OMA will collaborate with local architect Artech Inc. to build the 40,000m2 theater complex. The stage design is being developed with Ducks Sceno and the engineering is being provided by Arup. The centre is scheduled to be completed in 2013 with a budget of 3.8 billion Taiwan dollars (90 million Euro). The Taipei city council expects the centre to further facilitate the development of local performing groups and add to Taipei's image as an international cultural hub.

The project is led by OMA partners Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren. The competition team included associate André Schmidt and architects Adam Frampton and Mariano Sagasta, amongst many others. Koolhaas’s and Scheeren’s previous collaborations include the CCTV Headquarters and TVCC Cultural Centre in Beijing, as well as Prada Epicentre Stores in New York and Los Angeles.

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) is a leading international partnership practicing contemporary architecture, urbanism and cultural analysis. It is engaged in a large number of projects in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America.

In Asia, OMA is working on the office’s largest project to date, the 600,000 m2 China Central Television Headquarters CCTV and Television Cultural Center TVCC in Beijing (to be completed this year). Further projects in development in Asia include the new Shenzhen Stock Exchange, the Scotts Tower, a large-scale residential development, both in Singapore, and a high-rise building in Bangkok.

OMA is led by six partners: Rem Koolhaas, Ole Scheeren, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Managing Partner Victor van der Chijs and Shohei Shigematsu.

Posted on Wednesday January 28th 2009 at 11:03 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • OMA now debuts: The Primitives. Yes, look how, like warts, they can be readily attached to any bland architecture to make it competition viable!

  • Trumbo

    How about the other shortlisted entries?
    I´d love to see and compare.

  • Zebra crossing that overlap with market stalls, spaces plopping out of a box? It’s plain silly, but I like it.

  • Porter

    Oma were once exiting and revolutionary, I think we can positively say that still Rem is, but the constant restructuring of his office into a corporate prison has led to the negation of the way OMA once worked and in parallel thought. Its a real pity as he is still one of the greatest minds in Architecture but he will be remembered for these buildings that he builds now and not the masterpieces of his early career and SMLXL. Concepts that were so powerful hundreds of offices and projects have copied and plagarisied his exceptional work.

    This Taipei centre however has none of the spatial or intellectual ability that one expects from OMA. Simply it is not good enough, it is like an aborted scheme that should have been forgotten, not developed.

    • Nancy Clements

      It is juvenile to believe there is an absolute to which one can compare works of architecture. Every project has been contextualized. This project is a critique, it is admittedly flawed, it is a reflection of what OMA sees as problematic, it poses a question, it is disingenuous, it is dispassionate. The message is not "preoccupied."

      It is quite funny to see how people react to this building. This building is not concerned with being good or bad. If you have a problem with the approach of the office address it, but criticizing this architectural product only illustrates the misunderstanding OMA sees as trivial.

  • Post

    Uaahh, sorry, but looks kind of disgusting, like a giant tick …

  • left hand

    This is terrible. Seriously, it’s like an undergraduate’s attempt to do an “OMA” project.

  • bob

    I had a toy like that when I was 2 yrs old..

  • it seems lately that OMA has some kind of fetish with balls

  • associal

    Old school OMA. I like it. Sweet 90 s :]

  • wtf2007

    … a street fight between the school of mies & the school of walt disney.

  • DN3

    The sphere should’ve been colored red!

  • Justin

    A performing arts center with a clown’s nose on it. Cute.

    This will be iconic and recognizable, which is important perhaps for the typically under-used and under-publicized public facilities that performing arts centers are, in general. But it’s definitely not beautiful, not even close.

    Why are almost all of the images taken from the same quadrant? I want to see what the other side does (or doesn’t) look like.

  • vim

    this is an intelligent and innovative project in terms of performance. you guys only care about the look. read the statement on their website.

  • peridotprince

    Dali’s Crutch, anyone?

  • ’emCookies

    Rem’s said (in a lecture here in Milano a few months back) that he wants to get back to strong and basic shapes in architecture, and away from the sensational! Well . . . I don’t know if putting a really big ball — and it’s all about that ball — on the side of a box is away from sensational. Maybe he wasn’t brave enough to stop being sensational yet; or, more likely, he figured that the panelists would want a “sensational” building; which they did. (Not sensational in the sense that it’s top notch, you understand — but outlandish.)

  • One

    Bizzar, therefore a OMA project. Funny thing is that two models of solid plastic and the detailed one says almost opporsig architectural construction. One ad-hoc being featured to express fun to break rules and beig non symbolic, the other almost being obedient to what anybody believed to be a great architecture, i.e. no columns, Large acrobatic cantilevers, abstraction thus far symbolic… This duality makes it very funny experience, not beig sure if they know this diversity, yes for sure they are teasing us intentionally…

  • andy

    That’s gotta be one of the weakest first floors/entries I’ve seen in a while. At least what we can see of it…

  • OMA come back! very cool!
    congratulations guys.

  • John

    Yes can we see the other entries????

  • jed_

    haven’t they been trying to punt this design, or ones very similar to it, for a good ten years?

  • Matty D

    yet another case of, “If it didn;t have OMA’s name on it, would it carry any value at all?” I don’t think a single design professor would pass a student turning in a model like this one.

  • kc

    The look may be “primitive,” but I am very interested in how the connections of the theater spaces within will work out, especially the bit about how the backstage areas are somewhat exposed and contained within the central cube where you’d normally just expect a central lobby. That spherical theater could be interesting as well, since I’m assuming the stage would be placed in the intersection of the sphere and the cube with the seating placed against the spherical walls.

    Anyway hasn’t OMA’s focus basically always come down to their programmatic inventions? Seattle public library, jussieu, even cctv. It seems to me that the “look” is usually dictated by what they’re doing with the program, and that’s what we’re seeing here, just with a simpler exterior.

  • scarpasez

    this is an intelligent and innovative project in terms of performance

    This would be true if the project statement didn’t resort to the “emblematic” quality of the sphere, descending like a “planet”. Sorry: the sphere – the obvious focal point of the architecture – is not performance. It’s a stunt. And it’s silly.

  • go OMA go

  • Joe

    Uh, what’s the giant ball for? Please please tell me it has some function, other than the function to add 2 million to the cost. I suspect the latter, unfortunately.

  • At least incorporate the structure of the sphere internally. The necessary monopod looks like such a waste. I can make extreme looking volumes, but they lose their interest when they have to be propped up on a crutch.

  • *MIRTEC*

    hard to make a decent comment.. too less info.. and nothing about the interior..

  • BRK

    rem rocks :-)

  • james Robert

    The spanish project of Abalos+sentkiewicz is amazing….
    Check it out

    I don’t know who was the Jury but they really mist a great inovative project.

  • HJ

    very cool project. since everybody out there started copying OMA, why they can’t re-use some of their own classic repertoire themselves? (sea terminal Zeebrugge e.g.) those primitive shapes are still very strong, look at the deathstar in Dubai, the cheese in Rotterdam, the Hamburg harbour building and now this. It’s like they threw out their computers and went back to the modelling-shop. In a while this will probably be copied all around too.

  • nelson

    the spanish project is much better than the one by oma… its like an labrinth of ny guggenheim / museum of contemporary arts in rio… it look way better than the oma ‘ball’ sticking on the ‘cube’, it just dosent look right! I used to like oma, but their current projects are not that great anymore… especially the ones in asia… sigh!

  • Brian

    I love REM and the office’s work…

    But been there, done that, 1970’s London.

    I could have designed a building also by surfing the internet…

    Then, I must declare the age of JOURNALISTIC ARCHITECTURE! (Actually it was George Symeou who did!)

  • fvale

    associal is right…this is very very very oldshool OMA..This is the kind of projects they did is the late 90s :)

  • Mike

    OMA god!!!

  • One

    I am sure it was more about ‘joke’ than a serous statements… OMA is good at making people re-act seriously positive about their ‘joke’…

  • g

    what if….
    an architectural studend propouse the same geometrical volume for his formal project?
    I do belive Mr. Koolhaas is having soooo much fun with all of us!

  • people from Taipei

    Personal opinion: I don’t like it. I like OMA’s design but I don’t like this architecture.It’s kind of old fashion design.
    This buliding will locate in Shihlin night market where is most popular place and always crowded in Taipei.
    Do they go to there to do some research for the site?
    Or they just search on google map about taiwan………..

  • TS

    Putting architectural theories aside

    Being a local Taipei residence who travel to the Shih Lin Night market area on daily basis…….

    the performing art centre sitting right on top of the most well known and the biggest and crowdest night market in Taipei. I really question how they going to solve the programmatic clashes and movement of pedestrian. At the same time, preserving the night market culture ?

    Having shown these images to friend’s who works only 200m away from the site …..i can only say their reaction is not pleasant at all

  • arki

    I want to see the other 134 entries… maybe someone could post them so that we could view beautiful images. If other jury for this competition, i think it will not win.

  • tiffany

    the first model looks like a typical taiwan made realistic model, to convince the client, the second one is more about the sculptural statement of the designer.

  • mutha

    It’s wackier than it is provocative, that’s probably the measure of the OMA slippage, but I like it. But they don’t show the most interesting parts properly, like the street market/theatre junction, or what happen if you use all three theatres at once, do the three connected theatres connect to the market too for performance that spreads into the city?

  • matt

    the way they were analysing and developping the program is amazing, wait to see it published
    that’s a great building
    the model is lovely stupid

  • the egg killed everything

  • yi-hua

    Rem Koolhaas said that this project in Taipei is his most satisfied one. very special case to study! and it’s sorry that we can’t have the photos of interior space. that must be the key!

  • Allen

    I live in Taipei, and I love to see the lovely city with more buildings designed and built by international films. Taipei is so underrated compared with Hong Kong, Singapore or Shanghai, it has many charming tea houses, restaurants and shops hidden in the little alleys waited to be explored. This building will be erected near the famous Shinlin night market, so definitely will be eye-catching.