Dezeen Magazine

Night shot of Taipei Performing Arts Center

Long-awaited Taipei Performing Arts Center by OMA captured ahead of opening

The futuristic exterior of the much-anticipated Taipei Performing Arts Center, designed by OMA, has been photographed in Taiwan ahead of its official opening in 2022.

The photographs revealed by OMA show the 59,000-square-metre cultural landmark, which is home to three protruding auditoriums, with its scaffolding removed.

The exterior of Taipei Performing Arts Center
Taipei Performing Arts Center has been photographed ahead of its 2022 opening

Taipei Performing Arts Center was designed by OMA in collaboration with local architecture studio Kris Yao | Artech and engineering firm Arup on a site adjacent to Shilin Night Market – one of Taipei's most popular night markets.

It is slated to open to the public in summer 2022.

The Globe Playhouse in Taipei
The Globe Playhouse is the building's focal point

The complex is composed of three auditoriums that protrude from a glass cube, which is elevated above the ground to form a public plaza.

It was commissioned by the Taipei City Government to support performing arts groups in the country.

One of the centre's focal points is the Globe Playhouse, a spherical 800-seat theatre that is intended to resemble a planet.

Its other auditoriums are the Grand Theater, a 1500-seat venue, and the Blue Box, an 800-seat multiform theatre for experimental performances.

The exterior of Taipei Performing Arts Center
The Grand Theater and Blue Box theatres can be merged

The Grand Theater and Blue Box can also be merged to form a giant 2,300-seat venue, which is named the Super Theater.

All of Taipei Performing Arts Center's backstage areas are housed within the central cube, which OMA has surrounded with a circulatory space named the public loop.

The public loop is an access route for both the general public and ticket holders that offers views of the theatre's infrastructure and production spaces, which are usually hidden to visitors.

"With three theaters plugged into a central cube and a public loop, Taipei Performing Arts Center creates new internal workings of performing spaces, inspiring unimagined theatrical possibilities," said OMA's managing partner David Gianotten.

Undulating glass facade
The central cube has an undulating glass facade

"This is a new kind of theater for artists, audiences, and the public to explore the creative life in novel ways," Gianotten continued.

"Taipei Performing Arts Center, formed with a strong technical core and the more emotional theaters docked against it in mutual dependency, at once embodies new organization for theater, and works as a fresh, intelligent icon that encapsulates the city's creativity," added the studio's founding partner Rem Koolhaas.

OMA won a competition to design Taipei Performing Arts Center in February 2009. Construction began in 2012 and the building topped out in August 2014. The opening in 2022 will be nine years later than planned.

The announcement of the centre's opening follows OMA's extension to a Jewish temple on Los Angeles' Wilshire Boulevard as well as its proposals for the first North American outpost for Centre Pompidou and a supertall skyscraper for Billionaire's Row in New York.

The photography is by Chris Stowers, courtesy of OMA.