An urban canopy connecting people and arts



On the periphery of the expanding Taiwanese city of Dadong we wanted to take a symbiotic approach between the creation of an arts centre and the neighbouring historic village district. The region’s sub-tropical climate called for a specific approach to how people deal with the climatic conditions in open spaces. We proposed that the art-related programme be realised through the construction of three specific-use buildings. Between these buildings we created a large structural canopy to provide sufficient shade for visitors and bring the community together under a spectacular roofscape.


The three separate buildings we created were: a museum; a theatre; and an art school. By doing it this way we could lay clear links between the scale of the buildings, the space in-between them and structures in the surrounding village. Each of the three buildings now serves as a support for the canopy roof, which is spanned between them. Together with engineering firm Arup, we developed a structural, opaque membrane that was inspired by the art of Indian sculptor, Amish Kapoor. Large steel rings collar sections of the membrane and act as gutters for rainfall. Rainwater collected by the sections of the canopy roof is collected into these rings and drained along anchoring cables into round pools in the area between the buildings. The combination of the membrane, the subtle ventilation and the flow of rainwater from the roofscape all serve to playfully showcase the region’s environmental elements.

Client Kaohsiung County Major

Programme Museum, Theatre, Art education centre, Library, tourist information centre

Team Malone Chang
Yulin Chen
Branimir Medic
Pero Puljiz
Volker Ulrich – Project Architect

Size 18,000 m²

Year 2006 – 2012

Collaborators ARUP

Status Built

Architect MAYU architects

Image credits MAYU architects
de Achitecten Cie.

Next project

Altaar Beemster

A new altar for “de Keyzer”