OMA and KRIS YAO | ARTECH have completed the Taipei Performing Arts Center, a “super theatre” comprising a huge glazed cube intersected by spherical and cuboid theatres.


The Taipei Performing Arts Center (TPAC) hosts three theatres – the spherical 800-seat Globe Playhouse, 1,500-seat Grand Theater and 800-seat Blue Box – that intersect a central cube. The 59,000-square-metre theatre was designed by Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten of OMA with Taiwanese collaborating architect Kris Yao to challenge the standardisation of theatre design.

“Theater has a very long tradition. We have seen contemporary performance theaters increasingly becoming standardized, with conservative internal operation principles,” says Rem Koolhaas. “We want to contribute to the history of the theater. Here in Taipei, we were able to combine three auditoria in a particular way. We are interested to see how this architecture will have an impact in terms of extending what we can do in theater.”


TPAC is located in the heart of Taipei’s Shilin Night Market and is surrounded by a public plaza that begins a free Public Loop through the theatre, where portal windows offer a glimpse into the theatres and backstage areas usually hidden from view.

“The configuration of three theaters plugged into a central cube has resulted in new internal workings of the performing spaces to inspire unimagined productions,” says OMA managing partner David Gianotten. “The Public Loop exposes visitors with and without tickets to these new works and their creative processes. We are excited by how the building constantly generates new relationships between artists, spectators, and the public.”


“This new building not only presents itself to the world as a brand new and unique configuration of theater complexes, it also sits perfectly in its location – right at the center where the plebian life of Taipei happens,” adds Kris Yao, the founder of Kris Yao | ARTECH. “Its informal, unpretentious, and raw architecture spaces echo the spirits of how citizens of Taipei approach art.”


The theatre has already hosted a number of test performances ahead of its public opening in August.

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