Wei-Wu Ying Center for the Arts

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(Provided by Wei-Wu Ying Center for the Arts© All rights reserved)

 

Location

Kaohsiung (in southern Taiwan)

Lying on the boundary of Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County, the Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts sits in the northeast corner of the metropolitan park.

 

Architect

Francine Houben/Mecanoo Architecten B.V., Delft, the Netherlands

Archasia Design Group, Taipei, Taiwan

 

Background Information

Wei-Wu-Ying was once a dust-cover military installation run by the Ministry of Defense. In 2003, the Taiwan government announced the plan to transform the area into a public space comprising a metropolitan park, art center and commercial area. The metropolitan park occupies 57 hectares and the Center for the Arts covers 10 hectares within the park, which acts like a great green lung for Metro Kaohsiung. The Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts is the biggest investment in culture made by the Taiwan Government in the last two decades. The Council for Cultural Affairs launched an international design competition and Francine Houben from the Netherlands was announced as the winner from among 44 architects worldwide, Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts is scheduled to be completed in 2013.

 

Capacity

Square Measure: 141,000 sqm

Lyric Theater: 2,260 seats

Concert Hall: 2,000 seats

Play House: 1,254 seats

Recital Hall: 470 seats

 

Other amenities include an open square, restaurants, gift shops, multi-purpose rooms, a roof observatory and parking lots, etc.

 

Design Concept

 

Francine Houben based her design on Dutch architectural concepts, which involves seamless integration with the surrounding landscape as the design subject. Inspired by the lush banyan trees in Wei-Wu-Ying, she came up with the “organic” and “liberal” theme for the Center’s design. The tree trunks, aerial roots and shade create a space with dotted openings which allow for good air flow; the boundaries between the exterior and interior are not clearly distinguishable, and the exuberant greenery outside can be visibly seen from the inside. The Center, with its rectangular body boasts a facade streamlined in such way as sound waves and a ray fish swimming in the ocean, providing a poetic imagery to people. Through integration of the open space, the green belt and the vast area itself, the Center and the metropolitan park are merged into one.

 

Future Prospects

In conjunction with the construction of the Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts, the Southern Performing Arts Development Project was initiated. It maps out short- and mid-term cultural undertakings such as the cultivation of southern performing troupes, creative talents, appreciation of the arts in the local population, and training of theatre technical and management staff, etc.

In September 2007, the Wei-Wu-Ying Center’s preparatory office was established. By now,

it organizes over a hundred performances by international famous troupes each year, such as “Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert” and “Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra” relayed by satellite to Wei-Wu-Ying, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, U-Theatre, Ju Percussion Group, Han Tang Yuefu Music Ensemble, etc. Those efforts will establish Wei-Wu-Ying as the new cultural and artistic focal point of southern Taiwan, as well as connect the island through culture exchange and performances with the world.

(Designed by Archasia Design Group & Francine Houben/Mecanoo Architecten B.V.)

(All the materials are provided by Wei-Wu Ying Center for the Arts)