Distinctive Seabed-Inspired Facade Features The Recently Opened Pop Music Center in Taiwan | Manuel A. Monteserín Lahoz

Distinctive Seabed-Inspired Facade Features The Recently Opened Pop Music Center in Taiwan | Manuel A. Monteserín Lahoz

Located in the port city of Kaohsiung, Southern Taiwan, this pop music center designed by Manuel A. Monteserín Lahoz features intricate geometries on its facade. Spread over an area of 88,000 sqm, the center consists of four architectural ecosystems that showcase a thematic area: the great wave, corals, whales, dolphins, and all are linked by a series of walkways and parks. It took almost a decade the completion the project which was a winning entry in an international competition. "Foams, corals, seaweed, waves, and aquatic animals are arranged on the surface and specialize in specific uses, so each piece manifests its personality and a formal challenge and, at the same time, is integrated into a common ecosystem," said the firm. Read more about this breathtaking project in detail below at SURFACES REPORTER (SR):

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kaohsiung-pop-music-centerThe idea behind designing this extraordinary pop music center is to offer a strong identity to the area, which is already well-known for its history, cultural elements, and the geopolitical situation.

Four Architectural Ecosystem That Forms The Pop Music Center 

The architectural ecosystem that makes up the entire complex includes The great wave, Whales, Dolphins and Corals

kaohsiung-pop-music-centerThe Great Wave

As its name suggests, the structure takes a curve form assembled with a hexagonal grid. It houses an outer auditorium that can accommodate around 12,000 people, a concert hall where nearly 3,500 people can sit, and two towers containing a museum, an office program and rehearsal rooms. kaohsiung-pop-music-center

The enclosed auditorium acts as the foundation from which the tallest tower appears, while the lower building serves as a setting for the open-air auditorium. The hexagonal grid that contains the roof of the auditorium continues to outline the exterior of the main tower. 


Both towers look like a lighthouse that can be visible from any point, catching the attention of the passers-by. 


Initially, the architects were in favour of creating them separately but later they kept them back to back, creating a fissure between as a large access atrium.

Also Read:  Zhu Pei Designs An Organic Landscape Underneath The Cantilevered Latticed Roof Of This Performing Arts Center In China



The whales take shape as six ‘live houses’ designed for events, concerts, or presentations.

kaohsiung-pop-music-centerThey are further sectioned into three categories as per the capacity, and all are connected with a big underground parking lot. Whales also offer a large pedestrian promenade by the sea to the people creating space for organizing different events.


Next building is described as dolphins consists of five restaurants connected by a pathway.


These restaurants are elevated on pillars and run parallel to the tram through the pop music center, acting as a spine that joins the two big areas separated by the river.


The Coral or Exhibit

The coral is created as an exhibition center and outdoor multipurpose area. It features a large hexagonal roof supported by branched pillars. The firm decided to keep the roof as the most striking and effective design part that joins all enclosed spaces. Various commercial and exhibition programs take place inside this also with several activities including street dances, street markets and theatres. 

All these interventions are connected with a series of walkways and a large park. The flexible layout of the building allows unprompted activities to take place when no planned concerts are happening in the center. 

Project Details

Project Name: Kaohsiung Pop Music Center
Location: Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Area: 88,000 sqm
Architecture Firm: Manuel Monteserín 
Principal Architect: Manuel Alvarez-Monteserin Lahoz
Client: Kaohsiung City Government
Completion Year: 2021

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