Award-winning architectural studio Emergent unveiled their design for the new Pop Music Center in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This design is intended to re-invigorate the Port of Kaohsiung as a cultural destination through world class public attractions, cutting edge music infrastructure, green energy technology, and lush landscaping. The design is based on creating two buildings located at anchor points on the site– one lifting into the air and the other embedded in the ground. By lifting partially off the ground, the Pop Music Center creates a huge shaded public plaza underneath the building. It also creates a protected space for the 12,000 seat public amphitheater, so that events can be planned year-round and in various weather conditions. The nine Performance Halls are organized inside bubbles nested between skin layers.

The architecture is imagined as a thick skin which is sliced away to reveal different layers and nested volumes. Multiple layers allow for a complex interweaving of public and private spaces, as opposed to that allowed by single-surface models of architecture. By glancing the skin with supple cutting surfaces, an effect of three-dimensional, figural topography is achieved.

Difference between layers is emphasized by differences in color, material, and pattern. The outermost layer is characterized by the color and pattern effects which follow multiple criteria and are ultimately non-indexical. The space between layers operates as an environmental buffer zone which insulates and cools the building interiors.

Building skins are embedded with thin-film solar technology, in a patchy, painterly way. BioWAVE technology is proposed on the sea bed, which operates based on random, multidirectional movements of sea water. Landscaping will respond in color and morphology to built structures on the site and vice-versa.

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