“Asian Review 029” ― Taiwan part6
Development zone and the ” National Taichung Theater “
Taichung is one of the six municipalities under the direct administration of the central government of Taiwan, with a population of 2.8 million people, competing with Kaohsiung for the position to be the second largest city in Taiwan. This city facing the west coast supports Taiwan’s high-tech industry along with Hsinchu City, Taoyuan City and others. From Taoyuan International Airport, it takes only an hour to Taichung by transferring with the MRT and Shinkansen. The duration is not much different compared to the travel to the Taipei city center.
The high-speed railway Taichung Station is located off to the west of the city center. The downtown area of Taichung is under reconstruction by zones. Currently, new buildings are being built in the development zone called “Taichung’s 7th Redevelopment Zone” which started developing from around 1990. One of them is the opera house called “National Taichung Theater” completed in 2014. It was designed by Toyo Ito & Associates-Architects, and was realized in 10 years after winning the international competition in 2005.
This building is based on the concept of the “sound cave”, and the biggest feature is the three-dimensional curved wall called the “Catenoid (suspended surface)” in which the floor, wall and ceiling are seamlessly connecting. Combining 58 curved panels of different sizes, the space of halls, foyers, lobbies and etc. is branched but continuously connected, and it is realized by the “new truss wall construction method” of high difficulty. It is a reinforced concrete structure building having 6 stories above ground with 2 basements, with a site area of 57,020m2, the building area of 8,308 m2, and a floor area of 51,152 m2.
It is a full-fledged opera house with Taiwan’s first two-tier stage setting. Once you get in the entrance, meandering waterways and elegant flower arrangements welcome you. From the 1st floor to the 6th floor, a café, exhibitions of local cultures and creatives, study, dining and etc. are carefully laid out, and you would be wrapped by a space like a whirlpool appealing to the five senses. The white outer wall boasts an overwhelming presence, and it becomes a production space where projection mapping is possible. This building has been selected as one of the”9 biggest landmark of the world” by Reuters, it is proud of Taiwanese citizens.
In the Taichung’s 7th Redevelopment Zone, in addition to this, there are industries and academic facilities such as Tunghai University, Feng Chia University, Taichung Industrial Park, Central Science Park, department store, restaurant, luxury residential area and etc. Looking at the fact that Taichung City is a proceeding town planning systematically in this way, I have a somewhat strange feeling that Taiwan’s political system itself is liberalism, but somewhat similar to that of mainland China.