Lyrical Seashore: Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural & Music Center

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Kaohsiung, China

The design for this cultural center embraces a sizable portion of the city’s harbor in one sweeping move. Operating as architecture and urban design, the plan distributes volumes of program on a prominent tray of liminal land with the aim of intensifying the urban pulse. The sensuous, yet logical form of ships and the fluidity of music are the primary themes drawn from the program and site, setting the tone for the seductive spatiality and repertoire of shapes.

The design includes a 5,000-seat concert hall and a 12,000-seat outdoor performance area, both placed at the center with two fingers of facilities on both sides. Facing the city, the project appears like a two-story curtain of architectural objects with giant portals functioning as public plazas to protect views of the water. The most significant of these is a string of eight individual performance spaces between the indoor and outdoor auditoria. These spaces house restaurants, shops, and a recording studio at the tail end of the plot, caressing the more dense side of the city, envisioned as a nightlife district. The opposite end hosts a music innovation center and a “sail-like” observation tower that is the inevitable new landmark on the city skyline. Throughout the project, large curving sun canopies are covered with photovoltaics to produce on-site energy.

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