Mecanoo’s National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Taiwan

© Iwan Baan

The recently-opened National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan — inspired by the mass collections of banyan trees that are common in its locale — was designed by Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo.  This single building — which is also the largest performing arts center under a singular roof as well as Taiwan’s most significant cultural investment in a generation — covers a surface area of approximately 35 acres, a little over a quarter of the size of the surrounding 116-acre subtropical park in the area, acting as on of the country’s most culturally significant investment. The building features a 2,236-seat Opera House, a 1,981-seat Concert Hall, a 1,210-seat Playhouse, a 434-seat Recital Hall and an Outdoor Theater that connects the building to the park. Continue reading “Mecanoo’s National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Taiwan”

The Los Almendros Social Center, All Under ONE Roof!

The “Los Almendros” Social Center, designed by Ferrer Arquitectos, features a covered public square, and it was one of the early ideas behind the building’s design that found its way into the final product. The centre’s site is in an elevated and privileged area in one of the routes into Almería, Spain. The Social Center’s location was set there to make sure that its design and presence takes full advantage of the local outdoor views. The “weightless” terrace in the café area of the centre hangs over the site, set against the roof’s round presence that rises from the ground.   Continue reading “The Los Almendros Social Center, All Under ONE Roof!”

Return of the London Olympics: The Summer Game’s Shooting Venue

And now…the long awaited “Part 3” of my “coverage” of works of architecture being erected for the upcoming 2012 Olympic Summer Games that start next month in London. First I covered the nomadic basketball arena, second was the natatorium, and now I’ll be covering the London Olympic Shooting Venue.  This building will accommodate the 10, 25 and 50 m Sport Shooting events for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and after the Summer Games have concluded, the three temporary and mobile buildings will be dismantled (a’la the basketball arena before mentioned) and rebuilt in Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.   Continue reading “Return of the London Olympics: The Summer Game’s Shooting Venue”

The NEW One World Trade Center: The Soon-to-be Greenest Skyscraper Ever!!



In New York City, a golden phoenix is rising out of the ashes and rubble of Ground Zero. It is……..a brand, spanking-new skyscraper.  The new One World Trade Center Complex (1WTC) is on the way to being the most environmentally and technologically advanced structure ever attempted at this scale.   Continue reading “The NEW One World Trade Center: The Soon-to-be Greenest Skyscraper Ever!!”

The London Olympics Strike BACK! The Summer Games’ Aquatic Center

I suppose you can call this “Part II” of my Architectural Series of buildings erected for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.  I had an earlier post about the recyclable arena almost two months ago.  I will say this though: I cannot guarantee a “Part III;” which kind of sucks because I’m a sucker for a trilogy. Oh well, this is the Olympic Aquatic Center designed … Continue reading The London Olympics Strike BACK! The Summer Games’ Aquatic Center

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What?! A Visitors’ Center That’s NOT Boring?!

At first sight, this DEFINITELY looks much better than any visitors’ center I’m used to seeing.  ANYWHERE!

This is the Ruth Lilly Visitors Pavilion, designed by Marlon Blackwell, at the 100 Acres Art & Nature Park at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, located in (you guessed it) Indianapolis, Indiana.  The first thing you’ll notice is the ipe screens that are spread across the steel exoskeletons of the center’s canopy, walls, and deck.  As a result of this, the ipe screens wrap all of the structure’s program rooms, areas, and spaces.

Continue reading “What?! A Visitors’ Center That’s NOT Boring?!”