Kaohsiung Landmark Selected in Time’s 2019 World’s Greatest Places

Time Magazine announced their second annual World’s Greatest Places 2019 in their September 2nd edition. Amazingly, one of Kaohsiung’s most famous landmarks and attractions has made the list, which is a first for any place or attraction in Taiwan.

Introduction

Time Magazine has redefined the way people should view places. Some places are simply so magical with intrinsic appeal that they can not be measure by traditional means. Based on this new holistic paradigm, it started publishing the World’s Greatest Places annually in 2018. It selects and places the various venues, such as museums, parks, restaurants, and hotels, into three categories:

  • [Best Places] To Visit
  • [Best Places] To Stay
  • [Best Places] To Eat and Drink.

How does one measure the greatness of a place—in miles covered, dollars spent, or visitors captivated? Such metrics can play a part, but also important is something that many travelers aspire to experience: the sense that one has stumbled upon the extraordinary.

Time Magazine

In the 2019 Best Places edition, Kaohsiung’s renowned National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) made the coveted Time Magazine list. It was selected among the world’s top 37 places to visit.

Weiwuying National Performing Arts Center exceeded Time’s criteria for “quality, originality, sustainability, innovation and influence.” It is the first time a Taiwanese place was named to the list and joins the likes of the Hearst Castle in California, Geosea Geothermal Sea Baths in Iceland, and the VAC Library in Hanoi, Vietnam, among others.

About Weiwuying

Kaoshiung Attraction Weiwuying National Performing Arts Center
Photo Courtesy: 夏天鴻

“Weiwuying” is located in the Fengshan District, next to the Weiwuying Metropolitan Park. It was opened to the public on October 13, 2018. Previously, it was a military training installation.

The project was initiated in the 1980’s and the hard work and creativity of the designers and builders culminated in a world-class architectural wonder. Since its opening, the growing reputation of the center has attracted many famous talents and shows from around the world.

Architecture

Kaoshiung Attraction Weiwuying National Performing Arts Center
Photo Courtesy: National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying)

Times Magazine lauds, “The largest performing-arts center in the world under a single roof.” Interestingly, the design was inspired by Banyan trees. The Banyan tree canopy is clearly visible in the silhouette of the structure.

Architect Francine Houben created the design resembling tree trunks and shaded open spaces to allow aerial routes in the Banyan Plaza.

National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying)

The performing arts center was an ambitious project to transform a military base to a thriving performing arts center. The city achieved more than it originally planned. It is not only a world renowned arts center, but the premier venue in Taiwan to attract the best artists worldwide.

Photo Courtesy: aae.mina (하미나)

Photo Courtesy: Richu Stone

Kaohsiung is also known as the center for shipbuilding in Taiwan. The developers leveraged the city’s specialization in the shipbuilding industry and collaborated with local shipbuilding companies to use the latest technology and techniques in shipbuilding to build a structure that can withstand Kaohsiung’s humidity, heat, typhoon, and rain.

Built for the Community

The site is “fence-free,” so people can walk about the premises and take photos 24 hours/365 days a year. Also, the Starship like structure creates breezes throughout the facility, so people can enjoy the experience of visiting Weiwuying. They also offer tours of the facilities. More information on the tours can be found here.

Grand Opening

My Kaohsiung was there at the Grand Opening. We filmed the celebration from start to finish. You can view the whole ceremony here.

Kaohsiung Attractions Weiwuying
Photo Courtesy: National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying)

Location

Glossary

  • redefine – 重新定義
  • intrinsic – 固有的
  • holistic – 整體的
  • paradigm – 範例
  • covet – 令人垂涎
  • culminate – 極點 (此指達到極致)
  • canopy – 陰涼處
  • silhouette – 輪廓
  • leverage – 槓桿作用

Cover Photo Courtesy: Ashe Drone

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