Mecanoo’s Wei-Wu-Ying Center for the Arts has broken ground in Kaohsiung with a festive public celebration hosted by President Ma Ying-jeou and attended by Architect Francine Houben. The new cultural complex will be the largest in Asia at 141,000 sqm, featuring the most modern in theatre technology, housing a concert hall with 2000 seats, an opera house with 2250 seats, a playhouse with 1250 seats, a recital hall with 500 seats, a public library and studios for music and dance.
Francine Houben, founding architect and creative director of Mecanoo, based her design on Dutch architectural concepts which involves the seamless integration with the surrounding landscape. Inspired by the lush banyan trees in Wei-Wu-Ying Park, she created the organic and liberal theme for the Center’s design. The tree trunks, aerial routes and shade create a space dotted with openings which allow fresh air to flow. Through the integration of the open space, the green belt and the vast area itself, the Center and the Park become one.