Designed by New York-based RUR Architecture, the 756,000-sqft Performance Hall at the Taipei Music Center (TMC) officially opened with its first concert on September 5 (including strict measures for public safety, including temperature checks and the wearing of masks). Located in the Nangang District, this innovative structure is the centerpiece of the firm’s competition winning design for a nine-hectare site in Taipei dedicated to the performance, production, and celebration of pop music in Asia.
The Performance Hall is designed for indoor and outdoor performances, seating 6,000 inside and also accommodating several hundred outside at the public plaza. A faceted double skin wraps around and encloses the auditorium, made of anodized aluminum cladding outer layer and gypsum wall inner layer. The expansive geometric volumes mirror the terrain of the nearby mountains, a site-specific reference that ties the building into its environment. The venue features state-of-the-art technology, from acoustics and lighting to eco-friendly heating and cooling systems.
As a cultural incubator, the TMC brings the pop music community together in one hybrid and multipurpose complex. The Performance Hall is one of three major buildings in the complex, along with the Exhibition Hall (The Cube), which contains multiple exhibition spaces, collection storage, and research, archives, and lecture facilities, and the Creative Area Building (the Music Industry Shell), which houses production facilities. A new elevated public ground bridges the north and south sites which are divided by Civic Boulevard, bringing together all three buildings in a coherent design. The program also includes three live-houses, which will allow for simultaneous performances and also support new talent with intimate concerts.
RUR has designed the TMC as a new urban arts precinct for Taipei, weaving the buildings into the natural surroundings and further into the fabric of the city. The south side of the complex is scheduled for opening in mid-2021, which will mark the completion of the project over a decade in planning by the central government and a decade in design and construction of the scheme.
Jesse Reiser, Principal at RUR, commented, “Ten years ago, the outskirts of Taipei were characterized by industrial areas situated right up against verdant, forested hills. There was, and still is, no gradual transition of city to suburbs – in fact no suburbs at all. The effect of that contrast is a striking juxtaposition between city and nature. Once the old industry was removed and the Taipei Music Center was constructed, we found that nature and new architecture amplified each other’s beauty. Taipei Music Center functions as a discrete urban organism within the natural landscape, an urban peninsula connected to the city yet independent and extending beyond it into nature.”
Ko Wen-je, the Mayor of Taipei City, said that, “Our priority was to create a landmark building for the people of Taipei that at the same time provides necessary support to the pop music industry. The unique mountain-like eye catching geometry designed by RUR Architecture from New York allows us to reemphasise the Taiwanese pop music industry as playing a leading role in Mandarin and Asian pop music.”
Photographs courtesy RUR Architecture & Fei and Cheng Associates.