After Mayor Jason Hu took up the mayor’s office at the end of 2001, he proposed the Open-air Theatre Project as a key part of his cultural strategy.
According to the Plan, a multipurpose park with a total area of 8.86 hectares with 3000-4000 seats and a sitting lawn for about 10000 spectators was to be built during 2002-6. This park contains an open-air theatre with basic performing facilities and simple sport facilities. Moreover, the amphitheatre was promoted as the biggest one in Taiwan for all kinds of outdoor musical performances that is consistent with cityscape renaissance and tourism development in Taichung City.
The amphitheatre project was implemented in three stages: “project management center”, “landscaping project” and “amphitheatre construction project”. The latest project management method was applied to ensure that the landscaping work of the amphitheatre meet the following five principles: construction site landscaping, all-out supervision, park ecology preservation, real-time information and full-range services.
Musical performance is the primary users of the stage, and other forms of art and cultural performances are secondary. To blend performances with nature is the focus of the project design. Unlike general temporal open-air stages, the amphitheatre in this project is the first true open-air theatre for musical and art performances. Therefore, the project has a better performing environment with a brand new open space with artistic, recreational and leisure functions. It is a new landmark for the performing arts in Taichung.
II. Origin of the amphitheatre
So far, only the National Theater and National Concert Hall in Taipei provide better hardware and software equipments for performances; and there is no such facility in central or southern Taiwan. Though population of Taichung City has exceeded one million, construction of a new cultural hardware has gone nowhere for a long time due to capital shortage. This is long seen as a waste of the geographical advantages of Taichung City, which is the best of all six counties and cities in central Taiwan and its capacity to attract 6 million spectators of art performances.
In the beginning of 2002, the TCCG invited architectural and theatre representatives to form an “advisory board” to discuss and direct the project and make recommendations for site selection. The Amphitheatre Site Selection Assessment and Overall Planning Project and architect selection were initiated afterwards. The objective was to build an outdoor performing stage with open-air stage and basic performing facilities that serve a market population of more than five million people in Central Taiwan.
(3) Layout and features
The site contain a large amount of tree plantation and green area and multilevel landscapes, and ecological environments are highly respected to mingle music with forest-like setting. As a multicultural construction, space for simple sport facilities is reserved.
III. Future vision
Benefits of the Fulfillment Amphitheatre Project include:
- The largest outdoor theatre for the widest range of musical performances.
- A theatre serves 6 million people in central Taiwan, all citizens in Taiwan, and even spectators worldwide.
- A theatre that functions as a public square and park in ordinary times.
- A theatre that treasures performing arts and cultural development, townscape renaissance and tourism development in Taichung City.