A city covered with metal: Arts Centre in Kahosiung, Taiwan


Kaohsiung City, Taiwan,

Theater, Art Center,


Mecanoo are building an arts centre for music and drama in Kahosiung, Taiwan, a large-scale project employing a simple, effective, high impact technology.

	A city covered with metal: Arts Centre in Kahosiung, Taiwan

The world has few centres for the performing arts as big as Wei-Wu-Yung Arts Centre in Kahosiung, Taiwan, which is practically an indoor city. Mecanoo’s project is set in a 65 hectare park, and the arts centre alone measures 141,000 sqm, with 6000 seats. It contains 4 theatres, including a concert hall, an opera theatre, a playhouse and another theatre for miscellaneous performances. The fifth theatre is outdoors, and here Mecanoo created a curve in the volume of the building, resting it on the ground so as to create a semi-circle of spectator terraces around the orchestra seats. The roof is made of simple corrugated sheet metal, while its soft, fluid form makes it look like an extension of the existing terrain. All under a rectangle measuring 225 m by 160 m, and the material covering all parts of the ramified metal structures that permit this architectural wonder is flat sheet metal, so that the project looks as fluid as a skateboard rink. The building continues for 6 metres below ground level, as much as 10 metres in some parts, and rises above the ground for another 38 metres, with no discontinuities in design or rearing structures. The truss girders move along the entire building, remaining skilfully concealed and appearing only here and there to reveal the structural strength supporting the entire construction. The figures describing the theatre complex demonstrate its uniqueness, with fully 2000 seats for concertgoers and 2260 for opera fans, while the playhouse contains 1254 seats and the recital hall 470. To this we may add a 800 sqm public library and a number of rehearsal and practice spaces for music and dance as well as two conference and meeting halls with 100 and 200 seats. Impressive figures for a port city with a population of almost three million!

Fabrizio Orsini 

Programme: Theatre complex of 141,000 m2 in the Wei-Wu-Ying Metropolitan Park with a total capacity of 6,000 seats: Concert Hall 2,000 seats, Opera House 2,260 seats, Playhouse 1,254 seats, Recital Hall 470 seats, public library of 800 m2, 1,000 m2 of rehearsal/education halls for music and dance, 2 conference halls with 100 and 200 seats and stage building workshops
Design: 2007-2009
Execution: 2010-2013
Client: Preparatory Office of The Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts of the Council for Cultural Affairs, Taiwan
Architect: Mecanoo architecten, Delft, The Netherlands
Local architect: Archasia Design Group, Taipei / TW
Structural engineer: Supertech, Taipei / TW


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