suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Amorphis (ramiro DIAZ-GRANADOS), IDEA Office (eric KAHN & russell THOMSEN), and Flab (heather FLOOD): NTCArt Museum (New Taipei City Art Museum)
Contrary to the conventional museum as an insular institution that isolates art from the life of the city surrounding it, the NTCArt seeks to generate new experiences and understandings by merging art, recreation and tourism as a compelling set of convergences. Rather than museum as a collector or storehouse of culture, the NTCArt will be a people’s art museum, a generator of culture and lifestyle that comes from the convergence of art and life.
Two instincts inform the design: the calligraphic gesture and squishy masses. Calligraphy is a writing form with an extensive history and highly developed technique, both disciplined and beautifully fluid at the same time. The squishy massing works as a means for creating particular moments within the larger forms of the building that simply allows it to do what it needs to in an effortless way. That is, the squishing of the more rigid, formal typology allows for unique moments without compromising the coherence of the larger whole and it produces a posture that relies on mass effects rather than volumetric ones The relaxed posture enables the visitor to move between indoor and outdoor spaces, both equally compelling in the ways they might exhibit art as it coexists with life.
The calligraphic is essentially a series of lines or strokes that dance across the grounds of the site, changing direction, intersecting, converging and diverging. These multiple figures both hug the landscape at intimate moments and fly above it to create shaded outdoor spaces for gathering and exhibition. The various segments of the figures house the storage wing and administrative offices discretely, while restaurants, bookstores, rest areas and support facilities punctuate the varied spaces for exhibition.
The overall organization of the NTCArt is non-hierarchical, dispersed, informal, and opportunistic. It is not composed as a single narrative nor is it an abstract space for the storage and display of art. Rather the architecture visibly intends to foster and shape multiple forms of the convergence of art and life, effectively enabling a new lifestyle. As opposed to the more rigid, institutional model of museum as a precisely choreographed experience, our building allows for a different range of possible experiences. Multiple entrances, paths and experiences interact to produce the new. It is no longer important that viewers see the entire collection from one end to the other, but rather that they can have a series of satisfying experiences each time they visit the museum. It is a place of prompts, not directives, a place one returns to over and over without preconception or rote.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
rD-G, eK & rT, hF: Arabic letter forms, Chinese dragon boats, all things squishy.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
rD-G, eK & rT, hF: What to Expect When You’re Expecting; The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; Outliers; The Anxiety of Influence, Harold Bloom; Homo Ludens (Man the Player), Johan Huizinga.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
rD-G, eK & rT, hF: Alexander McQueen, Christopher Wool, and Creighton Michael.