Evocative canopy structure becomes KPOP’s signature in competition entry from MJ Architecture

Washington DC-based design practice Martinez + Johnson Architecture present their entry for the Kaohsiung Maritime Cultural and Popular Music Center (KPOP) competition in Taiwan. The basis for the competition – also featuring designs from STL – is to reinforce the city's status as a leading maritime capital.

Concept designs from MJ Architecture suggest a series of campus-style buildings interspersed with public spaces, tied together by an undulating canopy roofing system. This covering offers shade from the harsh sun, protection from the rain and a framework for multiple photo-voltaic panels. The DC firm view the concept as a metaphor for 'the powerful local juxtaposition of industrial shipping yards with the natural beauty of the ocean and distant mountains'.

The buildings that comprise the KPOP Center are thus: a large, flexible performance hall, capable of seating 5,00 individuals in a pavilion-style concert venue, with large-format LCD display screens integrated into the facade; an outdoor performance plaza in the centre of the campus, which can accommodate between 10,000 and 25,000 people; a landmark tower with permanent exhibition space dedicated to the 'Pop Music Hall of Fame' and an observation deck out to the neighbouring harbour; and the Maritime Center on the water's edge.

Sustainable features run throughout these individual elements, with geothermal ground source heat exchangers, rainwater harvesting, recycling systems and solar panels all playing a role in energy conservation. MJ Architecture are aiming for LEED Gold certification.

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