Posts tagged with "Taipei":

Placeholder Alt Text

Reiser Umemoto's Taipei Pop Music Center prepares for the spotlight

In 2010 Reiser Umemoto Architects (RUR) entered a competition that might have seemed a strange fit for a small academic firm based in New York City known mostly for theoretical treatises and thoughtful residential design. Halfway around the world, a consortium of government organizations in Taipei, Taiwan, issued a request for proposals for a pop music campus that would etch its image into the local skyline. The groups wanted to bolster the Taiwanese pop industry in the competitive musical landscape of East Asia, amid rival industries in Korea, Japan, and mainland China. The competition organizers wanted an icon, something that would be instantly recognizable to national and international audiences. RUR responded with a submission that included collages showing newscasters announcing the arrival of the latest pop star while standing in front of a geometrically complex design, a mix of swooping arcs and fractal shards. This was the same year that Instagram was launched and only 13 years after the opening of Guggenheim Bilbao, and RUR knew that their proposal had to make an instant impact. These years were a time when Taiwan was producing many high-profile competitions that got international attention for the bold names and often wild designs of the winners. The competitions seemed to have a lot of promise, as clients were looking for avant-garde international firms to make spectacular statements with the sorts of buildings that can rocket a firm to stardom. Toyo Ito’s Taichung Opera House, OMA’s Taipei Performing Arts Center, and Neil Denari’s New Keelung Harbor Service Building all came out of this icon-obsessed mania. The reality for these competitions has been more complicated. “They have big ambitions,” Jesse Reiser said, “and they have prominent architects come in, but the budgets don’t mesh with that.” OMA’s project has stalled midway through construction; Neil Denari’s indefinitely postponed. RUR has, so far, bucked the trend and is close to bringing online not just the Pop Music Center, but also the Kaohsiung Port Terminal, another Taiwanese competition winner. The Pop Music Center scheme features three main masses scattered atop a retail plinth. “Part of our strategy was to expand the project into more of an urban design project, and not just do a mega-building, so we wanted to occupy the entire site,” Reiser said. A cube housing a pop hall of fame stands at one end of the main long site. It is anchored at the other end by the “industry shell,” a faceted mixed-use building that doubles as a band shell for an outdoor performance space in the middle of the site. The main hall is split from these buildings by a road that runs through the site and is connected by a bridge that extends directly into the hall’s lobby. Originally a branching structure similar in form to the Kaohsiung project, the main hall transformed when the client decided to increase the size of the theater from 3,000 to 5,000 seats. The final form resembles a sort of crystalline clam lodged into the landscape. The hall is well underway, and when it is completed, it will be the first of the three Pop Center buildings to finish. The exterior is already covered by an anodized aluminum skin with a distinctive standing seam pattern. The linear metal panels take on a range of tones depending on the angle of the surface, almost white on the pleated roof where they reflect the sky, and a rich bronze on the shaded underside of the facade. Reiser said the particular finish has historic ties to East Asia: “The color is this alumite color that the Japanese used on teapots and on certain fighter aircraft in World War II.” This exterior shell is punctured by the elevated walkway that connects the main hall to the other buildings and leads visitors into a double-height lobby. Faceted perforated aluminum panels with a dark green PVDF coating are backed by an air gap and black mineral wool to create a crystalline cocoon that clads the lobby and theater. The striations from the metal panels get picked up in the one-directional mullions that stripe the soaring glass windows that mark the lobby’s entrance. Large sheets of argon insulated glass units are lined with steel T mullions that run across the windows at various angles, adding an off-kilter dynamism to the entry. The interior and exterior surfaces are richly photogenic, ready to be snapped, shared, and liked by fans around the world. The main hall is expected to be complete in December 2018, and the rest of the complex will be fully constructed in two subsequent phases in the near future. Executive Architect Fei and Cheng Associates RUR team Jesse Reiser, Nanako Umemoto, Neil Cook, Michael Overby, Juan De Marco, Hilary Simon, John Murphy, Kris Hedges, Eleftheria Xanthouli, Toshiki Hirano, Ryosuke Imaeda, Joy Wang, Massimiliano Orzi, Xian Lai, Jasmine Lee, Boliang Pan Structural Engineer Arup HK (through Schematic Design); Supertek, Taiwan (Detailed Design) Exterior aluminum panels produced by Aleris (Belgium) and fabricated by Bolster Corporation (Taiwan)
Placeholder Alt Text

Oyler Wu goes big in Taipei with a pixel- and line-based apartment facade

Brought to you with support from

On the inside, Los Angeles–based Oyler Wu Collaborative’s 30-unit Monarch tower in Taipei, Taiwan, is pretty much a typical speculative multifamily project developed according to local building customs. Because of building codes, structural columns—typically measuring upward of three feet in thickness to account for the region’s strong seismicity—are not counted as part of floor-to-area ratio for these types of projects. As a result, the structural columns for these new developments are placed outside the building’s outermost facades in order to maximize internal floor area and leave unobstructed floor plates. The arrangement creates a vertically-striated exterior structural grid that, due to the massive columns, leaves a void where exterior balconies can be placed.

  • Principal Architects  Dwayne Oyler; Jenny Wu
  • Design Team Huy Le; Sanjay Sukie; Shouquan Sun; Yaohua Wang;Lung Chi Chang; Richard Lucero; Chris Eskew; Mike Piscitello
  • Photography PoYao Shih
  • Client JUT land Development
  • Location Taipei, Taiwan
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System projecting steel framed balconies
  • Products bespokeexterior paneling assembly (expanded aluminum mesh; fritted glass; aluminum panels)
For the 15-story Monarch tower project, Oyler Wu utilized these spaces to create a lively facade that showcases a complex patchwork of extruded aluminum mesh, painted steel elements, fritted glass, and overhanging solid aluminum panel assemblies. The balconies are structured with light-gauge metal tube handrails infilled with glass panels, with the each balcony assembly wrapped in an aluminum tube screen frame that is filled in alternately with glass or mesh. The resulting balconies reflect the square-shaped building’s alternating exposures, growing to over eight feet in depth along the principal southern face with a shallower, five-foot-deep articulation on other facades. “We wanted to insert dynamic variety into the Taipei apartment type,” Dwayne Oyler of Oyler Wu Collaborative said. He added that the unconventional project—the interiors of which were already designed by Jut Land Development’s in-house team of architects when Oyler Wu came on board—represented an unconventional way of working for the firm at a scale previously only explored via speculative research. The balconies are structured with steel supports that were calibrated to account for seismic activity and then incorporated into the shifting design. The architects worked with the developer and future residents to envision a idiosyncratic strategy for deploying the mesh screens within this matrix, including using the material along bathroom and bedroom windows in order to maximize privacy in Taipei’s dense urban condition. The strategy was augmented with the projecting balconies, which shift position across the facade in conjunction with the panels in order to accommodate predetermined—and non-negotiable—window and door openings that came with the developer-driven design. Oyler Wu also designed the building’s ground floor lobby and public spaces. Jenny Wu, principal at the firm, explained that her team was “trying to make the public spaces on interior feel like an extension of the exterior” aesthetically as well as functionally. “There’s nothing quite like it in Taipei,” she said.
Placeholder Alt Text

OMA’s Taipei Performing Arts Center comes into view

Scaffolding on OMA's Performing Arts Center in Taipei has begun to come down, unveiling the building's bulbous facade. Made from aluminum, the facade encases the Proscenium Playhouse and Multiform Theater. An auditorium, the spherical Proscenium Playhouse caters for an audience of 800. Regarding its relationship to the main building, OMA said it "resembles a suspended planet docking with the cube." Audiences will circulate between an "inner and outer shell" to enter the space, meanwhile inside, "the intersection of the inner shell and the cube forms a unique proscenium that creates any frame imaginable." Also seating 800—and located within the sphere—is the Multiform Theater. A "flexible" space, the theater will play host to a range of experimental performances. It sits opposite the building's focal point: The Grand Theater. According to OMA, it will be "contemporary evolution of the large theater spaces of the 20th century." The Grand theater can be merged with its opposite partner to form the "Super Theater." Here, the "experimental, factory-like environment" will be able to accommodate productions that demand exceptionally large stage settings such as B.A. Zimmermann's opera Die Soldaten (1958), which requires a 100-meter-long stage. The Super Theater will also offer the chance for existing productions to be scaled up. According to the firm, the project aims to address the following questions: "Why have the most exciting theatrical events of the past 100 years taken place outside the spaces formally designed for them? Can architecture transcend its own dirty secret, the inevitability of imposing limits on what is possible?" Discussing their approach further, OMA added:
In recent years, the world has seen a proliferation of performance centers that, according to a mysterious consensus, consist of more or less an identical combination: a 2,000-seat auditorium, a 1,500-seat theatre, and a black box. Overtly iconic external forms disguise conservative internal workings based on 19th century practice (and symbolism: balconies as evidence of social stratification). Although the essential elements of theatre- stage, proscenium, and auditorium- are more than 3,000 years old, there is no excuse for contemporary stagnation. TPAC takes the opposite approach: experimentation in the internal workings of the theatre, producing (without being conceived as such) the external presence of an icon.
Construction on the project has so far taken four years and the Performing Arts Center is due to officially open in 2017. OMA won the commission to design the center in 2009. Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten are the two partners working on the project.
Placeholder Alt Text

Taipei activates space below a rail viaduct with 1,000 twinkling balloons

In November, Taipei was overtaken by a giant anemone lurking beneath a rail viaduct. One thousand six-foot-tall, cylindrical balloons wobbled under the city's Shilin Metro Station. The 650-foot-long, inflatable, public art installation, Walking in the Balloons, was built for the Shilin Light Festival. City Yeast, a Taipei-based design firm, executed the project.

According to City Yeast, the balloons contained motion-triggered LEDs. As children frolicked or winds gusted, the vibrations made lights twinkle. A few of the inflated columns also housed speakers, which played oceanic sounds and Shilin tales. City Lab called the installation a “public art piece for kids.” And visitors referred to it as "the anemone." The Shilin Metro Station is around the National Science Taiwan Education Center, Taipei Astronomical Museum, and the Taipei Children's Amusement Park. But during the popular installation's 2-week period, public life centered at the Shilin Metro Station.
Placeholder Alt Text

Richard Rogers beats Norman Foster and UNStudio for Taoyuan International Airport terminal commission

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have fought off fellow British architecture practice Foster + Partners and Amsterdam-based UNStudio to design the Terminal 3 building at Taoyuan International, Taiwan's largest airport. The firm won by a unanimous decision, AN has learned. In 2014, the airport was the world's 11th busiest passenger airport. The 158-acre airport terminus will see 45 million passengers pass through every year and will be situated adjacent to the China Airlines Headquarters and share some services with neighboring Terminal 2. The building is due to be complete by 2020. Rogers' firm worked with local practice Fei & Cheng Associates and Arup engineers. UNStudio, run by Ben van Berkel, also took the approach of appointing a local firm for the project in working with Bio-Architecture Formosana and April Yang Design Studio. Foster, on the other hand, chose to work individually. Taoyuan International Airport is based 24 miles outside Taipei, the capital of Taiwan and was once known as Chiang Kai-shek International. The winner was selected from a jury comprised Michael Speaks, dean of Syracuse University's school of architecture; Marcos Cruz, director of the Bartlett School of Architecture; and Kwang-Yu King, curator of the 2012 Hong Kong & Shenzhen Biennale.  
Placeholder Alt Text

Taipei is 2016's World Design Capital

taipei The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design has designated Taipei as the 2016 World Design Capital. The Taiwanese capital's campaign, "Adaptive City—Design in Motion", highlighted the extensive growth in public transportation, medical systems and cultural infrastructure that has reshaped the city over the past 5 decades. In the wake of its selection Taipei will work closely with the ICSID to implement the program it has planned for 2016. It follows Torino, Seoul, Helsinki, and Capetown as recipients of the biennial award. (Photo: Francisco Diez/Flickr)
Placeholder Alt Text

Reiser + Umemoto Break Ground on Taipei Pop Music Center

Internationally recognized Reiser + Umemoto (RUR Architecture) has announced the groundbreaking of the 675,000-square-foot Taipei Pop Music Center (TPMC) at its new site in Taiwan, which took place on Wednesday. The urban complex confronts the confines of conventional performance spaces, consisting of various multifunctional spaces within a cohesive, vibrant venue that represents evolving pop culture. RUR Architecture, along with Fei & Cheng Associates, received first prize at the Taipei Pop Music Center Competition in 2010 for the versatile design. TPMC operates as a global center for the music industry, and the new center connects theater to public space and commerce. Functioning as a hub dedicated to the celebration, production, and reception of pop music in Taiwan and East Asia, the center is expected to become a powerful symbol of the area's international pop music industry. The project makes gestures to integrate itself into the surrounding city and attempts to respect the framework of Taipei street life, but the structure maintains a distinctive architectural identity beyond the existing city. An elevated public overpass will link complex over a major road. The facility will contain three monumental venues: the Main Hall, Hall of Fame, and Industry Shell. The Main Hall, the largest of the venues, will have a seating capacity of 5,000, another outdoor space cal accommodate 3,000 people and a cubic volume will house the Hall of Fame. The project is expected to be complete in 2015.