Taipei Pop Music Center: A view of the Hall of Fame and Main Hall above the raised public plaza.
Courtesy RUR Architecture Taipei Pop Music Center: A view of the Hall of Fame and Main Hall above the raised public plaza.

New York-based firm Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture celebrated the groundbreaking of the Taipei Pop Music Center (TPMC) in Taiwan last week. The 62,600-square-meter (673,821-square-foot) TPMC will connect music venues with elevated public spaces that form a bridge over Xinsheng Road, itself a bustling Taipei corridor. The mixed-use performance complex, which was designed in collaboration with local firm Fei and Cheng, will include three distinct buildings rising above a new retail and dining plinth: the Main Hall, a 5,000-seat auditorium; the Hall of Fame, a cube housing four stories of exhibition space celebrating the culture of pop music; and the Industry Shell, a music production facility with smaller performance spaces.

The two principals of RUR Architecture, Jesse Reiser, AIA, and Nanako Umemoto—recipients of the Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2000—released The Atlas of Novel Tectonics (2006, Princeton Architectural Press), a book exploring topics such as force and matter as they relate to the firm’s practice through a series of short chapters. In it, they wrote, “Our work aims to exceed the definition of the body as an organism and likewise an organism’s experiential field. In fact, that kind of abstraction is not nearly abstract enough. Ours is therefore not an argument about phenomenology, but an organizational principle of architecture that understands architecture as a great body, or an assemblage of bodies, that cut across a wide range of scalar and material regimes.”

The TMPC follows this mode of loosely assembling varied forms housing equally varied programs across its site, with the public spaces serving as the connective tissue linking all of the separate programs together. The new development, commissioned by the Public Works and Cultural Affairs Departments of the Taipei City Government, will remain lively even when no performances are scheduled thanks to the complex’s integration of public spaces and retail spaces.

The TPMC is scheduled to open in 2015.

For more details and images of the Taipei Pop Music Center, visit ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.

Reiser + Umemoto, RUR Architecture produced the following animation of the Taipei Pop Music Center: