Eleven years in the making, the Mecanoo-designed Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Taiwan is now scheduled to open this October. Located on a former military training base in the newly landscaped Weiwuying Park, the Center comprises of five separate performance spaces, covering a surface area of 35 acres (141,000 sq.m). The Center for the Arts will complete Taiwan's National Performing Arts Center trio of buildings, the other two being Taipei's National Theater and Concert Hall and the National Taichung Theater.
At 225 meters wide and 160 meters deep, the massive Center houses four stages under one undulating roof. It'll include: a 2,260-seat Opera House; a 2,000-seat Concert Hall (featuring a 9,085 pipe organ built by Orgelbau Klais — claimed to be the largest pipe organ in Asia, in case you must know); a flexible Playhouse that can provide 1,094-1,254 seats; a 450-seat Recital Hall (ideal for chamber music and solo recitals). Plus, the Center will have a generous outdoor amphitheater.
“Weiwuying is one of Mecanoo’s most ambitious buildings and embodies all the key elements of our philosophy,” Mecanoo founder Francine Houben says. “Inspired by the beauty of the local Banyan trees with their iconic canopies of leaves, the vast, undulating structure is composed of a unique skin and roof under which generous free spaces can flow. We have aimed to deliver a flagship cultural destination for Taiwan, a beacon to attract performers and audiences from around the world.”
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