Taichung City Cultural Center

Location: Taichung, Taiwan

Program: Contemporary Art Museum, Library, Auditorium and Meeting Facilities

Program Area: 63,000m2

The Taichung Cultural Center is two institutions: a library and a museum. Its 63,000m2 twinned program, its 24/7 life, and the breadth of its cultural commitments provoke an architecture that is equally ambitious.

Traditional monumentality is founded on institutional and cultural solidity, on the certainty of buildings and artifacts as assertions of cultural legacies. In this building, solidity is replaced with an architecture that is open and monolithic at the same time: a monument that is assertive and susceptible. Our aim is to signal a civilization that is equally at home in known histories, swirling presents, and unknown futures.

A raised, four-level building-mass holds the concentrated workings of the library and museum. This mass — a culture factory — shelters and defines a new form of public space below: a culture salon designed to catalyze the free exchange of art and knowledge, city and park, young and old, high and low, day and night, inside and outside, what we know, and what we don’t. This elevated mass also forms a plinth above for specialized functions sited in six small towers — culture islands — that extend the museum and library skyward.

WW Project Team

Principals: Ron Witte and Sarah Whiting

Design Team: Sam Biroscak, Mary Casper, Erin Ruhl, Tony Yang, Peter Di Yi