Now this thing right here is AWESOME. Designed by NL Architects, this project was submitted to the Taipei Performing Arts Center competition [which was actually won by OMA]. Nothing against the good ninjas over at OMA – but this proposal is dope.
NL Architects’ scheme transforms the TPAC into much more than a performing arts center – starting at ground-level. The structure is, diagrammatically, a table with four legs – leaving a large open area within/underneath the structure, which can serve as open public space [see images below]. The three upper floors would contain more public functions, including cultural facilities such as a media library, retail space, restaurants, etc. Additional public areas, like swimming pools and parks, could also be scattered throughout the staggering volume.
The performance spaces themselves are then located throughout the structure, distinguished by the variations in the projects massing.
The performing arts center structure will contain three theaters: a 1500 seat grand theater and two 800 seat theaters for repertory performances. The theaters are positioned on different altitudes. The proscenium playhouse is placed at the base of the southeast ‘leg’. The lobby is placed under this theater so that it is flush with the square activating the space around it. The multiform theater is connected to the southwest leg close to the top. The volume of the grand theater is suspended under the horizontal slab. It hovers over the square while being part of it.
All this makes for an interesting exterior – essentially a cube from which spaces are carved-out. But what I find really incredible is the possibility of this ‘internal’ public space created underneath the ‘tabletop’ – both the stacking / staggering / hanging effects of these volumes, and the staircases connecting the varying levels look as if they would make for an incredibly dynamic space.
An additional component that I haven’t mentioned but that I was really feeling is that the elevators have been pulled to the exterior face of the building – so they, and their passengers, will be seen going about their business from the outside. Additionally, these elevators don’t run vertically in the traditional sense – but instead follow an inverted-‘u’ shaped series of tracks on each of the building’s facades. Pretty sick…
And I love the renderings – just to toss that out there.