Flotation is the imagery that encapsulates our vision for this architecture at the Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA).
The Technology and Art Pavilion is an experimental foundation devoted to new media and technology in art. The architecture is composed of several "boxes" of different scales that form the main structural facilities. In addition to performances, exhibitions and lectures, The Pavilion accommodates an operations center, offices, lecture halls, laboratories and workshops.
The design for the Technology and Art Pavilion stems from two parallel concepts: one is to echo the architectural tradition and forms found in TNUA, and the other is to connect with other spaces on the campus to invent a new field for art experimentations.
Most of the existing buildings are symmetrical structures with inclined roofs and solid buttresses conforming to the sloped contour. Spatially these buildings often composed of atriums and courtyards. As an experimental facility for new media art, however, the new Technology and Art Pavilion is crafted to embody the spirit of the "contemporary" and the "futuristic." As such its design departs from the traditional styles by deploying "black boxes" and "gray boxes" that hover in mid-air and form the main body of the architecture. The "black boxes" and "gray boxes" are spatially defined to achieve both functionalism and structuralism. The outer spaces, or “skin” of the "black boxes" consisted of ramps satisfying the service function while acting as channels for natural ventilation. In the meantime, the "gray boxes" are spaces of undefined functions, with their “skin” constituting an expansive net to allow transparency and light diffusion.
The building is situated at the end of the main road on the campus. The site originally was a plaza that leads to the Sports and Swimming Center and was used for bus turnaround and car parking. The site seemed to serve disparate functions. But it commands the most beautiful view of the campus, overlooking the Guandu Plain that stretches for hundreds of miles into the horizon. For this very reason, we deployed four large structures to elevate the enormous boxes and create a "rain cover" underneath. This space continues to serve its original functions of parking lot, turnaround, and the entrance to the Sports and Swimming Center. But It also readily transforms into a site for art exhibitions, student activities and public participatory events. Connecting upward from this space is a wandering path, sometimes adjoining, sometimes probing into the periphery of the black boxes, as you take in the breathtaking view of the vast Guandu Plain.