The Kaohsiung Pop Music Center


This intricately designed pop music centre in southern Taiwan has finally swung its doors to visitors, ten years after Spanish architecture practice Manuel Monteserín won an international competition to design the distinctive pop centre. Inspired by the seabed, the design team strives to give a strong identity to the area given its history and geopolitical situation in Kaohsiung where many cultural elements coexist and thrive.

This 88,000 sqm structure is located next to the mouth of the Love River in the port city of Kaohsiung translated foams, corals, seaweed, waves and aquatic animals o the surfaces of the complex by expressing the existing landscape of geometries into flowing, curvy and trellis-like forms. Each piece manifests its own personality and challenge but at the same time integrated into a common ecosystem.

The centre is made up of four architectural ecosystems that represent a thematic zones: the Great Wave, Whales, Dolphins and Corals - all connected by a series of parks and walking paths.

The Great Wave volume, takes a bent form assembled with a hexagonal grid. This structure hosts an outdoor auditorium fit for 12,000 people, a concert hall for 3,500 guests and two towers including an office, museum and rehearsal rooms.

The hexagonal outer layer that forms the roof of the auditorium continues to cover the facade of the main tower. Both towers act as a lighthouse, recognisable from any point leading visitors to the location.

While the second part, Whales incorporates six live houses for events, concerts or presentations. The third part Dolphins consists of five restaurants connected by a walkway. The fourth part hosts the Coral, an exhibition centre and outdoor multipurpose areas and a series of parks and walks which connect the entire project.

This is a joint effort between the City Council, the Ministry of Culture and Central Government of Taiwan to give the Kaohsiung port a new cultural dimension.

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Shaza Dzulkifly
A Malaysian who now calls Indonesia her home. Shaza's career has taken her across multiple communications channels such as radio, TV, print, digital and social as well as PR and advertising.