Taichung City Cultural Center
a Public Library and a Fine Arts Museum complex in the Taichung Gateway Park
Taichung Gateway Park, Taiwan
The Cultural Center is located at the northernmost tip of the Taichung Gateway Park and will serve as the main Entrance to the Park. The Gardens of Culture is designed to provide a seamless transition from Park to urban areas, bringing the beneficial influence of the Park into the City. The Cultural Center houses two main services, a Public Library and a Fine Arts Museum. The 40-meter wide, tall, central covered Plaza serves as a Gateway to the Park, while at the same time leads to the lobbies of the Museum and the Library and brings their exhibitions to the open area in a celebration of nature, water, and functionality. An overhead bridge-like portal unifies the blocks of the Museum and Library. The structure departs from the conventional monoblock look by separating out vertically into functional layers, leaving space for multiple gardens across several floors, effectively extending the Park, and bringing its beneficial presence straight into the City Cultural Business District.
The Northern block of the Cultural Center houses the Public Library, because it is more secluded, less noisy, and brings in the best natural, northern light. The Southern part is dedicated to the Fine Arts Museum. Interior and exterior spaces intertwine, allowing visitors to move freely on different levels. Exhibition areas open up on the Plaza level, to form a varied and exciting space, with stores, educational areas, classrooms, an auditorium, and a theater. Central atriums provide visual contact with and ventilation between the different levels, while the vertical spatial flow is secured by a central core of ramps, stairs and elevators. The spatial flow invites people to move freely, rest, interact, and gaze at the Park outside. Exhibition areas and reading areas are illuminated by natural indirect light, with the use of skylights, light tubes, and natural daylight filtered through a bamboo outer layer and selected openings on ventilated double skin facades.
A water flow artifact starts at the Plaza level and brings water down to the garage level along with cool breezes that naturally ventilate the basement. Warm humid air is evacuated from high registers on the periphery along the double-walled basement wall. The building serves as a filter for the polluted warm and humid air of the city by providing Green Purifying Corridors. The purified, cooler air is channeled into the Park. The synergy between the Park and Cultural Building results in clean and cooler fresh air for the City of Taichung.