'Weiwuying' Opens in Taiwan

John Hill
17. October 2018
Photo: Iwan Baan

Mecanoo's National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts — also known as Weiwuying after the 116-acre park the building sits within — opened to the public on October 13th in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan..

Mecanoo's project has been on our radar for a while and was included in our 18 for '18 post at the end of last year. The huge, 141,000-square-meter building contains four performance halls (2,236-seat Opera House, 1,981-seat Concert Hall, 1,210-seat Playhouse, and 434-seat Recital Hall) and other related functions beneath an undulating roof inspired by local Banyan trees. The metaphor extends to the aptly named Banyan Plaza, a covered outdoor public space that allows people to enter the realm of the building directly from the park. An additional public amenity comes in the form of a fifth performance venue, an outdoor ampitheater that is placed at a dip in the roof and melds the building with the park.

The October 13th celebration, "Arts for the People," inaugurated what is considered the world’s largest performing arts center under one roof​ with a performance in its Concert Hall and a party outdoors. Weiwuying's inaugural season includes the biennial Taiwan Dance Platform, concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic and other orchestras, an opera by Chinese artist Jennifer Wen Ma, a new production of Bernstein's Candide, and too many performances and family programs to list.

This view from the park shows the outdoor amphitheater that provides access to part of the building's undulating roof. (Photo: Iwan Baan)
Banyan Plaza is a covered public space between the building's various performance halls and other functions that meet the ground. (Photo: Iwan Baan)
Each of the four indoor performance halls has a generous indoor foyer. (Photo: Iwan Baan)
The Concert Hall is the grandest of Weiwuying's performance spaces. (Photo: Iwan Baan)

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