'Open House Taipei' to celebrate architectural spaces, aesthetics

10/26/2020 07:55 PM
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A roof top area at the National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA photo Oct. 26, 2020
A roof top area at the National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA photo Oct. 26, 2020

Taipei, Oct. 26 (CNA) Over 70 spaces in Taipei that are off limits to the general public will open to visitors during a two-day "Open House Taipei" in November, part of an annual global festival that celebrates the aesthetics and vitality of architectural spaces.

"Open House Taipei," being held for the first time Nov. 28-29, will open up a total of 73 previously inaccessible private spaces, such as private and government offices, backstages of theaters, and the control center that runs Taipei's MRT.

The vast majority of the spaces are in Taipei, with a few in neighboring New Taipei. Most of the tours are free, but there are some such as workshops or tours led by performing artists that will charge admission.

One of the featured spaces will be the National Theater and Concert Hall (NTCH), which will host 28 one-hour tours over the two-day period that will give visitors an inside understanding of the facility's operations and inner workings, such as how its special air conditioning system works.

An aerial view of an audience seating area at National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA photo Oct. 26, 2020
An aerial view of an audience seating area at National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA photo Oct. 26, 2020
The catwalk at the National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA photo Oct. 26, 2020
The catwalk at the National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA photo Oct. 26, 2020
An aerial view of the stage at National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA photo Oct. 26, 2020
An aerial view of the stage at National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA photo Oct. 26, 2020

Visitors can register online for the tours through the "Open House Taipei" website starting at noon Wednesday or line up for a tour during the festival days.

Another highlight will be the Taipei Metro Operations Control Center, which will give visitors an inside look at how the metro system works and gets passengers to their destinations.

Visitors wishing to take part in the free tour will have to pre-register, as the Taipei Metro will not accept walk-ins during the festival.

"Open House Taipei" is patterned after the event that started the concept, "Open House London," in which buildings considered to be of architectural importance are opened for free tours to foster a better understanding of architecture.

The idea is to have people directly experience the buildings or architectural spaces and give them the chance to learn from or discuss ideas with experts and others, according to Open House Worldwide, the network that links over 46 organizations hosting festivals and dialogue about architecture, design, and cities across the globe.

The concept has since spread around the world to some 40 cities, including New York, Melbourne, Milan, Vienna, and Jerusalem.

"Open House Taipei" Chief Executive Officer Victor Wu (吳卓昊) told CNA that he wanted to bring the festival to Taipei because he had a close personal connection with the festival while working as an intern in London and he wanted to showcase Taipei to the world through the event.

"Taiwan is becoming really famous because of its successful COVID-19 prevention efforts and by hosting this festival we hope to let more people know about Taipei by showcasing it to the world," Wu told CNA.

Wu and his team will also promote Taipei by having it take part in the 48-hour live stream of The Open House Worldwide festival that will tackle important issues facing built environments across the world, such as climate change, community planning, and public housing.

The delegation from Taipei will share innovative responses to the coronavirus pandemic, Wu said.

(By William Yen)

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Special air conditioning system that sends in air under the seats of the audience seating area at the National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA Oct. 26, 2020
Special air conditioning system that sends in air under the seats of the audience seating area at the National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA Oct. 26, 2020
A roof top area at the National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA photo Oct. 25, 2020
A roof top area at the National Theater and Concert Hall. CNA photo Oct. 25, 2020
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