Taipei Performing Arts Center stands out from the crowd. Located near Jiantan MRT Station and Shilin Night Market, Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Rem Koolhaas’ contemporary-looking building features a cube-sphere main body with block-shaped structures extending in three directions. It’s an imaginative and multi-purpose design that reflects the liveliness and open-mindedness of Taipei, and the vibrant energy of its people. Koolhaas’ geometric design forms a dialogue between the real and the surreal. The whole structure is lifted up from the ground, the sphere looking like a planet is floating in the air. At street-level is a vibrant public space open to all. The scene is completed with the hustle and bustle of nearby streets; a nonstop live drama day and night.
Taipei Performing Arts Center has a “3+1” configuration with effective use made of every space. The 1,500-seat Grand Theater and 800-seat Multiform Theater can be used independently or combined into a 2,300-seat Super Theater. In addition, there’s an 800-seat Proscenium Playhouse that features an unusual spherical auditorium. Visitors may also follow the Public Loop that connects the three theaters and allows them to see backstage: the equipment, rehearsal spaces, all the internal workings of a theater. Taipei Performing Arts Center is the first theater in Taiwan to offer such a tour, which must end with the scenic view of Shilin from the outdoor viewing deck.