CASE STUDY // Taichung Metropolitan Opera House


“Architecture has to follow the diversity of society, and has to reflect that a

simple square or cube can’t contain that diversity” – Toyo Ito



 TMOH_08credit: Lee Ming


Quick Facts:

Site Area: 57,685 m2

Floor Area: 43,264 m2

Architects: Toyo Ito & Associates

Structural Engineering: Arup

Mechanical Engineer: Arup

Client: Taichung City

Expected Cost:  5 million dollars


The Taichung Metropolitan Opera House, designed by Toyo Ito, is currently under construction since 2009 and estimated to be finished in 2014. Ito’s design has pushed the possibilities and ways of engineering today’s opera houses. It will be one of the first Opera Houses to be made primarily out of concrete.

The site of the project is surrounded by a green park and urban high-rise buildings and becomes a place of public interaction. The façade of the building has multiple main entrances enforcing a flow through all the spaces.



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The design resembles a coral like structure that is known as the “Sound Cave”, which promotes cross-relations and interactions which actively engages its surroundings in all directions. The form provides a constant interweaving between public and private, interior and exterior, stage and auditorium, artists and visitors. The Sound Cave works both on a vertical as well as a horizontal manner creating a continuous flow between the spaces and diverse activity.

The spatial organization is based on a simple geometric rule where one curving surface weaves through the building to create A and B type spaces. The Opera house has three main theater spaces, the Grand Theater (2,009 seats), the Playhouse (800 seats) and the Black Box (200 seats). The structure and spatial connectivity of the building conveys fluidity between the various programs and assimilate the theatrical arts with spatial arts.

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Check out the animation for a diagrammatic explanation of the opera house:


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