Kaohsiung, Taiwan / 2010

Intended to re-invigorate the Port of Kaohsiung as a cultural destination, this design proposes two buildings located at anchor points along the horseshoe-shaped waterfront site. The Pop Music Center lifts into the air, while the Marine Center is embedded into the ground. By loosening from the ground, the Pop Music Center creates a shaded and protected space for a 12,000 seat public amphitheater beneath.

The design for the Pop Music Center is based on nesting ellipsoidal music theater volumes in a ‘sack’. This sack, as if made of rubber, stretches to fit the volumes, creating a mysterious, indeterminate object. Vast interior spaces are created in the interstitial spaces between theaters. The sack is sliced open at various locations to create giant figural apertures, giving hints of what lies inside. Slicing operations also reveal that the sack is thick and multi-layered rather than a single surface. Theaters are not always fully ‘inside’ their container; sometimes they are tucked between different surface layers. This creates complex inhabitable poché spaces that are used for public circulation.

The difference between layers of envelope is emphasized by differences in color, materiality, and pattern. The outermost layer is glimmering, metallized composite panel with embedded thin-film solar panels. The two inner layers are gloss and matte black composite to create strong, and sometimes diverging, figural edges along apertures.

Client: Kaohsiung City Government
Type: Theaters and Exhibition space
Floor Area: 80,000 SM