Architecture is slow. Toyo Ito won the competition to design the Taichung Metropolitan Opera House way back in 2005. Half a decade later, the project has broken ground! Ito and his office have spent the last five years not only resolving the design of the Opera, but proving the construction of the project’s aberrant geometry feasible.
But it’s hard to describe that geometry: the project is more organized than a sponge but more fluid than a beehive. Somewhere between these two biological models is novel architectural space; space where continuous surfaces envelop programmatic elements in a complex interplay between inside and out. And as exciting as the form of the project is, its success depends on its realization– the visceral flutter of cilia as visitors move through space.
It’s a realization that will take years to achieve. Currently set for opening in late 2013, we have three years to observe the construction of the steel matrix and concrete membranes, three years to kill before its curves echo the awe of visitors, and three years to prepare our stomachs.