Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
New Taipei City Museum of Art Proposal in Taiwan by Lyons Architect
September 20th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Lyons Architect
The new museum building has been designed in response to its context – to the park, river, city and surrounding mountains. The concept connects the building and its spaces with the unique features of the site and its surrounds.
Its form, spaces and circulation patterns have also been designed to provide a rich and scenographic experience for museum visitors and to offer maximum flexibility in the display and presentation of artworks and multimedia.
The building form comprises three rectangular tubular forms which are stacked vertically. Each of these forms is inflected to connect with significant views from the museum site. The lowest form in the stack frames views of the immediate parkland setting and the Yingge and Da-han Rivers. The mid level form inflects towards and frames views of Taipei City and the Yingge township. The uppermost form draws in views of the mountain ranges to the north and south of the Yingge township.
When the building is viewed from outside – from Huan-he Road, from the new pedestrian bridge, or from the park surrounds, visitors are able to see into the ends of the building. Here the program and activity of the building is revealed and expressed – the antithesis of the conventional museum paradigm as an enclosed, vault-like box.
The building’s facades are clad in embossed ceramic tiles with a highly glazed surface – a reference to Yingge’s local tradition of ceramic and craft manufacturing. Small irregular piercings are made in the outer walls are infilled with translucent glass to provide controlled, diffused light into the museum’s outer galleries and circulation spaces.
The undulating topography and hill forms of the park are also used as generators for the concept design. The topography is folded and formed to create new hills and landscaped spaces which provide an extended terrain for visitor recreation and as sites for outdoor sculpture.
The sinusoidal curves of the parkscape transform into a vast glass roofed space which encloses the museum’s public and educational spaces. This space defines an extended public domain which is both of the building and of the park.
The program for the new museum is arranged as horizontal layers which are stacked vertically over the seven levels of the building. This layering and stacking of the program provides clear wayfinding for visitors and gives a clear definition to the public and ‘staff only’ spaces. Circulation through the building is via escalators and lifts which are located in a central core. Passengers and goods lifts serve all levels of the building.
The interior spaces in the building have been designed to provide variety and flexibility from large scale defining spaces to more intimate spaces for resting and circulation. Spaces in the new building have distinct orientations (to views), varying scales and heights and they interconnect with one another in different ways. This spatial concept provides an experientially rich internal ‘landscape tableau’ for the many and varied activities and displays to be housed in the new museum.
The main gallery and exhibition spaces are large, flexible and open. They allow for subdivision and interconnection, giving maximum flexibility in the display of paintings, sculpture, installations and video art. Circulation through the gallery spaces is free flowing, not prescribed, connecting back to the central lobbies and vertical circulation core.
The overhanging cantilevered forms of the building provide shade and shelter to the public spaces and parklands below.
The walls of the gallery spaces are highly insulated to maintain stable temperatures. Small apertures in the side walls of the gallery spaces admit small amounts of diffused natural light.
A HVAC system has been integrated with the architectural design and controls temperature and humidity in all spaces requiring high levels of environmental control (the galleries and storehouse). A mixed mode system conditions the public spaces in the building and this operates when outside ambient conditions allow.
This proposal for the New Taipei City Museum of Art is a contextual, site responsive building, is striking in its form and provides for the display of art and media in new and flexible ways. Importantly, it offers an engaging and stimulating experience as visitors move through the stacked levels of the building. It is a building where recreation and art intersect, offering a new paradigm for the art museum of the twenty first century.
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