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Kaohsiung Music Center

  • Date:2021-02-24
Kaohsiung Music Center

Name: 高雄流行音樂中心
Year of Establishment: 2020
Located At: Kaohsiung City
Did You Know That...?
The old name of Kaohsiung City (高雄市) was "Dagou (打狗)." Since the pronunciation of "Takao (打狗)" in Hokkien was similar to the pronunciation of Japanese characters of "Kaohsiung (高雄)," it was changed to that and the city has assumed the name until nowadays. Kaohsiung City has been a commercial port for international trade since the end of the 17th century, though it was not expanded for centuries, until the early 20th century. During Japanese colonial rule, Kaohsiung was transformed into a port city and home to heavy industries, in preparation for Japan's rapid military expansion into Southeast Asia. The Kaohsiung Port was rebuilt into a modern port, thus earning the city the title of "Taiwan's Maritime Capital (港都)." In 2020, the construction of the Kaohsiung Music Center (高雄流行音樂中心) began on the side of Kaohsiung Port, lighting up the city's night sky.

The Kaohsiung Music Center (KMC) was planned, designed and built by the Kaohsiung City Government as part of the "New Ten Major Construction Projects (新十大建設計畫)" plan approved by the Executive Yuan in 2009.

In doing so, the Kaohsiung City government first held an international architectural design competition. Having selected the design by Spanish architect Manuel Alvarez Monteserin Lahoz out of a total of 147 submissions, the Kaohsiung City government signed the contract in 2011.

Maw-Shin Construction Engineering Co., LTD won the bid to undertake the first phase of the KMC construction, which was completed in 2017. The second phase of the construction is still ongoing, with the large indoor performance hall, outdoor performance area, pop music exhibition room, industry community space, oceanic culture exhibition center, and culture and creative industry business area. Operation of these facilities is set to start in April of 2021.

For the KMC's visual design, award-winning visual concept studio JL Design was invited to integrate Kaohsiung's natural "ocean" scenery with the staff (a symbol of music), resulting in KMC's current LOGO design.

The KMC merges the architectural landmarks of Love Pier (真愛碼頭) and Glory Pier (光榮碼頭) by incorporating its four sections—Whale Bridge (鯨魚堤岸), Coral Zone (珊瑚礁群), Dolphin Walk (海豚步道) and Wave Tower (高低塔) into the area's composition.

"Whale Bridge" is situated right on Glory Pier or "Pier 13" as it was originally known. In the past, the port's function was to deliver supplies and military personnel to the ports of Kinmen and Matsu. In 2005, those functions ceased and six independent venues were established.

Representing a pod of whales, each building serves as an independent exhibition area. Thus far, building No. 3 is run by KKBOX SPERO and building No. 5 by TeSL (Taiwan eSports League).

Connecting "Love Pier" and "Glory Pier" is "Coral Zone (珊瑚礁群)" and "Dolphin Walk (海豚步道)." "Coral Zone" was designed as a multifunctional commercial space, in addition to providing experiences and exhibitions. It resembles a coral reef, with a two-story building that encompasses an area of 1,642 square meters.

"Dolphin Walk," on the other hand, serves as an independent commercial space, its design akin to that of dolphins leaping out of water. A 735-meter skywalk connects the Wave Tower, Coral Zone, and the Dolphin Walk.

The most iconic aspects of the KMC are the "Wave Tower (高低塔)," "Hai-Ing Hall (海音館)," and "Hi-Breeze Square (海風廣場)." An avant-garde architectural site, the main building design of "Wave Tower" resembles the high and low points of waves. "Hai-Ing Hall" is an indoor performance space which can accommodate between 4,000 to 6,000 people, compensating for the lack of medium-sized venues in Taiwan. "Hi-Breeze Square," an outdoor performance space which can accommodate between 8,000 and 10,000 people, is intended to be the main venue for pop music performances in southern Taiwan, while at the same time, it will be an incubation center to cultivate local pop music talents and foster connections between industries. Moreover, it can become a new place for sightseeing and recreation in the port city.

On New Year's Eve of 2020, the Kaohsiung City Government hosted eight major events on three separate stages to mark the 100th anniversary of Kaohsiung, highlighting the many facets—the sea, land, and air—of the city. Lasting for 11 days, the events lit up Kaohsiung's night sky. The mayor of Kaohsiung Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) indicated that the purpose of the New Year's celebrations was not merely to celebrate the name change that occurred 100 years ago, but also to demonstrate to the rest of the world that the city's residents have worked tirelessly together against the worldwide pandemic and are determined to build a brighter future in the days to come.

The KMC, which is set to complete in 2021, was also clothed in different bright colors as dazzling performances took place.

When you visit Kaohsiung next time, be sure to include the KMC in your travel itinerary to experience the new charms of the port city.