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The Wei-Wu-Ying Metropolitan Park, a former military compound of 65 ha, which has been re-tasked by the Taiwanese Council for Cultural Affairs (CCA), is located in Kaohsiung- one of the world’s largest sea harbours. With a population of over five million people, the harbour city is looking to reinvent its face to the world, becoming a multifaceted city with a state-of-the-art service industry and a rich cultural life.

Courtesy of Mecanoo

As such, an international competition was organized, centered around the creation of an art park and performing arts centre. The winners, Mecanoo, a Dutch firm, describe the scope of the project, stating- ‘There is hardly any misunderstanding with regard to the ambitions of this project; the park and the arts complex must, with one gesture, give Kaohsiung another face.’

Courtesy of Mecanoo

Mecanoo’s proposal is one of one-ness and continuity. A program consisting of a concert hall with 2000 seats, an opera house with 2250 seats, a theatre hall with 1250 seats and a Recital Hall with 500 seats is seamlessly incorporated with surrounding park grounds, with the incorporation modern theatre techniques and close attention to the region’s subtropical climate.”]

 

Courtesy of Mecanoo

Taking inspiration from the region’s centuries old Banyan trees, the complex creates sheltered public space which flows seamlessly between interior and exterior, before sweeping up through an open-air theatre accommodating thousands of occupants, into an undulating green roof which provides efficient natural cooling for the building and its surroundings. This roof acts also as an informal public sphere, where there is no program other than that which visitors can imagine.

 

Courtesy of Mecanoo

The building’s character can be echoed throughout the surrounding park grounds, where water features and  meandering pathways weave amongst valleys and hills to create intimate spaces of varying scales. A logical continuation of the building’s sweeping roofscape, this garden is home to a bamboo grove, botanical garden, playground, tea pavilion and butterfly garden.

Courtesy of Mecanoo

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