我第一次從遠處看到台中國家歌劇院(歌劇院)時真的有點不知怎樣反應 … 直到我站在它前面，我才真正感覺到這座六層高建築物的宏偉，它不尋常的弧形輪廓線及洞穴牆壁。My first impression of the National Taichung Theatre (NTT) from a distance was “mmm…..” It’s not until I stood right in front of it did I appreciate the magnitude of the six storey building, its unusual exterior with its hourglass contour lines and cave walls.
歌劇院最初在2002年的構思是古根漢台灣分館，由已故伊拉克女建築師札哈. 哈蒂設計。札哈. 哈蒂是一位世界級建築師，設計多以獨特曲線而著名。她在生時被英國政府授予女爵士的榮譽，同時也贏得了許多重大的建築獎項。她更是第一位贏得普立茲克獎和RIBA金牌的女建築師，兩項都是建築界極高的榮譽。我第一次親身遇到札哈. 哈蒂的作品是在2012年倫敦奧林匹克泳館。作為一個建築門外漢，我也能體會到泳館的設計是可以如此表達其建築物的用意。很可借古根漢項目最後由於政府不夠預算，只有胎死腹中。札哈. 哈蒂也於2016初不幸去世，以後我們不會再有機會在台灣看到她的設計了。
The NTT originally started out life as the Guggenheim’s satellite museum in Taiwan in 2002, designed by the late Zaha Hadid. Hadid was an Iraqi born female, a world renowned architect famous for distinctive curves in her designs. In addition to being awarded a Dame by the British government, she won many major architecture accolades during her lifetime, as well as being the first female to win the Pritzker Prize and the RIBA Gold Medal. The first time I came across her work was when I saw the London Aquatics Centre during the London Paralympics in 2012. As a layman and complete architecture novice, I was still completely in awe of the dynamic and flow of the building’s design to reflect its use as an aquatic centre. Unfortunately, the Guggenheim project was later abandoned by the Taiwan central government due to lack of budget, and since Hadid sadly passed away in 2016, we won’t be seeing anymore designs from her in Taiwan.
The NTT was resurrected and funded by the local government in 2005, when they selected a design by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Ito’s designs focus on bridging the gap between architecture and nature, and this is reflected in his design for the NTT. It is based on a sound cave concept, and has no pillars to support the curve wall structure, giving it a stunning 3D effect. As I walked through the main doors, for some unknown reason my eyes were drawn upwards. As I saw this triangular staircase spiralling through to the top, I knew my eyes were in for a treat!
我首先往六樓的空中花園，那裏延續回歸自然和洞穴的設計，無疑可令人心曠神怡。但不要向花園外看喔…因為周圍所有建築都比歌劇院高得多，有點大剎風景呢！I headed up to the roof top sky garden first, which continues with the return to nature and cave theme. It was nice and relaxing up there as long as you didn’t look upwards and outwards too much. All the surrounding buildings were much taller so there wasn’t much view so to speak.
樓下五樓的Book Play出售一系列生活品味和本地設計的產品。它是一個開放式區域，收納空間非常少，整個佈局一目了然，十分簡潔。旁邊掛著幾個漂亮的搖籃座位，如果你購物滿某一個限額，可以與好友在搖籃裡休息半小時，靜心享受美麗的環境。但我在想，當你坐在搖籃上，其實是你在觀賞環境，還是別人在觀賞你呢？I them went down to the fifth floor to the Book Play, a collection of lifestyle and locally designed products on sale. The layout was very clinical, essential as everything was in an open area with very little storage space. There were a few pretty hanging basket swings facing the shopping area, apparently if you purchase over a certain amount, you can sit and rest in the baskets with a friend for half an hour and admire the beautiful architecture. Though I do wonder, when you’re sitting there, are you admiring the view, or are you on display for others to view? J
五樓的”凸凸廳”目前有一個觀念建築展，由伊東豐雄與一個本地藝術團隊策劃。它結合聲浪及圖線，投射在展覽廳的曲線牆壁上，是一個 360度方位視聽展。廳內有30個巨大白色鵝卵石型的坐墊，供遊客舒適地坐著甚至躺著，好讓大家能夠完全投入這經驗。我兩次都是下午到訪，在十五分鐘的展視之後都感到很舒緩和輕鬆，是忙裡偷閒的好去處。The Tutu Gallery on the 5th floor currently has an Architecture Exhibition, created by Toyo Ito himself along with a local digital arts team. It is a 360 degree panoramic exhibition of sound and images projected around the curve walls inside the gallery. There are 30 massive white pebbles (bean cushions) for visitors to sit or even lie on comfortably and submerge themselves in the experience. Each session last 15 minutes, and I have to say it was an extremely mesmerizing and soothing experience for my afternoon visit.
在整個歌劇院也能見到洞穴空間的設計。二樓大劇院外高大的牆壁並不是筆直的，而是彎曲的洞穴牆壁，像有人要用力地把一口氣吹進歌劇院內，製造很多巨大管道。 在裡面感覺很特別，明明身在一棟現代建築物裡，但眼前看見的卻像原始的洞穴。The sound cave concept can be seen throughout the building including the foyer outside the Grand Theatre. There is hardly a main vertical wall in sight, as they have all been replaced with dynamic curve walls, like somebody has blown hard into the building creating a tunnel of caves. It’s quite weird to walk around a massive cave knowing that you’re actually in a modern day building.
我發覺很多人也像我一樣到歌劇院參觀，很明顯它已成為台中一個新的旅遊景點。但同時我也留意到各種表演門票價格其實也不便宜。尤其相比台中政府常常舉辦多項質素不錯而又免費的演出，它應該算是頗昂貴。希望歌劇院真的能”改變一座城市，翻新中臺” ，而不會成為一座”白色大象”。During my two visits to the NTT, I noticed there were a lot of visitors like myself, obviously it’s already gaining a bit of reputation as a popular sight seeing location in Taichung. I don’t know how popular the performances are as I noticed some of the performance prices are quite steep by local standards, particularly in comparison to the free and often quite good quality events provided by the local government. I just hope that NTT serves it original mission to promote performing arts and reinvigorate central Taiwan, and doesn’t end up as a white elephant.