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Zaha Hadid Architects

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Guggenheim Museum

  • Taichung, Taiwan
  • 2003 – 2006
  • Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation
  • Competition / Research
  • 28000m2

An ever-changing event space; a living, responsive environment with large-scale kinetic elements that rearrange and reconfigure to create a radical public spectacle within an urban setting. The design of the Museum is premised on its position as one of four landmark buildings built on a masterplan of two crossing axes.

The generous site on Taichungkang Road is tied to a unique urban configuration comprising the Guggenheim Museum, the new town hall, the city assembly and the national opera. The Museum can therefore be approached from two main sides – Taichungkang Road on one side and the crossing point of the two axes on the other.

This double orientation led to the creation of a large lobby space, approached from two opposing ends, which cuts a public path through the Museum. It also led to a decision to bend the axis of the building, so that it thrusts diagonally through the site towards the corner of Taichungkang Road and Hui Chung Road.

The building gradually emerges from a soft landscape formation, bleeding into the open public space of the urban axis. The dynamism and fluidity of its elongated form emphasises a sense of movement through and around the building, with internal circulation facilitated by swooping ramps.

The Taichungkang Road side of the Museum has an urban edge with severe cantilevering volume projecting towards the road like a huge canopy – creating a dramatic arrival experience for visitors. The opposite end facing the future park-scape of the new urban ensemble is characterised by curved ramps merging into the building.

The central double-height lobby connecting the two opposing entrances divides the Museum into two gallery wings, with a roof creating a public area between them. The interior of the space is fully accessible to the public with a meshwork of mezzanines, bridges and an internal landscape of rising and falling forms. 




Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Project Architect

Dillon Lin

Project Team

Jens Borstelmann, Thomas Vietzke, Yosuke Hayano


Adams Kara Taylor (London, UK)


IDOM (Bilbao, ES)

Cost / QS

IDOM UK (London, UK)