National Kaohsiung Performing Arts Center and Park
The National Kaohsiung Performing Arts Center references patterns of city design and development in Taiwan. The sea, the sky and the mountains define Kaohsiung and the village of theatres that we suggest recall those elements and forces of daily experience in its organization. The architectural concept of the facility looks forward while staying grounded in tradition and its own sense of space.
Organized in a gridlike pattern the four buildings of the Performing Arts Center are structured and firmly anchored to the terrain. The ‘edges’ of the grid squares leave paths through the buildings and through the landscape. At the opposite end of the park emerges a commercial development that creates a boundary between the landscape and the commercial area beyond. It allows for permeability along the major axis and is irrigated through small parks to allow the public park to flow through.
The design was developed as a park amidst this new Performing Arts Center with a two-pavilion complex. Anchored within the grid on the parterre related to the theatre bar is an amphitheatre. It is ‘cut’ into the ground while its ‘shell’ is a rising deformation of the green ground plane in all directions. It is a structure truly ‘of the earth’ and is distinguishable only as a sculptural berm from any side but the outdoor auditorium. The audience area is partially open to the sky and partially covered. The amphitheatre can be understood as an intimate bowl with protected, natural acoustics or events can expand to occupy the entire lawn in an amplified, high technology festival scenario.