The ambition of our project is to reinvent the performing theatre as an open type and to use this reinvented type to strengthen the role of TPAC in the city. The design of performance theatres invariably results in the concealment of its largest component – the spaces for the preparation and production of performance. In today’s age of icons, idiosyncratic and fantastic formal gymnastics are used to conceal this component, masking its relation to the spaces where the spectacle is consumed and bears no resemblance to the performance and experience of this building type. Production Box as a punctuator Our proposal insists on revealing and making the spaces of production visible to the city. Instead of fragmenting the production spaces to three separate clusters, we propose to consolidate them into one compact six-storey high box placed in the middle of the site, with the various auditoriums clustering around the main production box. Contained within double and triple volume rehearsal studios, the preparation and production of performances will be fully visible to the city. This box will become a strong punctuator for the site and the city.
Mat Plinth as a city fabric In contrast to the box, we propose a matted plinth that acts like a single layer of city fabric that draws the city into the building. This Mat Plinth brings together the Performance Venues and Public Service Spaces into a single undulating layer of continuous space. This continuous plinth lifts up along its edge at three points, forming vaulted entrances to the building. The highest vaulted entrance is on the north east corner of the site, drawing pedestrians from Shilin market.
Radiating Ribs The roof of the Mat Plinth is articulated by a series of radiating structural ribs. Emanating from the Production Box, these ribs accentuate the Production Spaces and the Auditorium as the heart of the building. Towards the centre of the building - above the three auditoriums - the ribs converge and form a dense pattern, reducing the openings where light is not needed. As the ribs fans out from the centre, the dilations and openings widen and thus brings in abundant light towards the public areas and entrances. These structural ribs and their gradient of light intensity act as a natural navigational device for the building.