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Asian civilisations inspire design for new branch of Taiwan's National Palace Museum

The new branch of Taiwan’s National Palace Museum – one of the most-visited museums in the world – is nearing completion and set to open at the end of December.

The National Palace Museum (NPM) Southern Branch, which has been designed by Taiwanese architect Kris Yao of Artech, will focus on Asian art and culture.

The new museum is located in the southern county of Chiayi, reflecting wider ongoing efforts to invest in cultural offerings in regions outside the capital city of Taipei. NPM Southern Branch is set to open for trial operations on 28 December.

Yao's architectural design for the 20 hectare (50 acre) attraction is inspired by the dragon, the elephant and the horse, representing the three main civilisations of Asia – Chinese, Indian and Persia, respectively. The animals have been transformed into the streamlined and interacting structures, portraying the beauty of and communication between the three Asian cultures.

Yao has also drawn on the art of Chinese calligraphy, with the techniques of thick ink, half-dry strokes and smearing translated into the curves and shapes of the building.

NPM Southern Branch has been long awaited, with an original completion date of 2008. Setbacks stemmed from contractual disputes, followed by a typhoon in 2009 that devastated the south of the country and flooded the site with more than 10 metres (33 feet) of water.

In October 2010, the project was restarted, and has finally been built at a total cost of NT$8 billion (US$243m, €222m, £161m).

The ever-popular sister museum in Taipei, which holds a renowned collection of almost 700,000 mainly Qing dynasty artefacts and paintings, was the 10th most-visited museum in the world in 2014, attracting more than 5.4 million people. According to the Taiwanese tourism bureau, more than 70 per cent of tourists from mainland China made a trip to the National Palace Museum in 2013.

Artech is also working on the New Taipei City Museum of Art, after winning an architectural contest. The gallery building will incorporate the site’s historical, cultural and geographical features to form a sustainable vision for the proposed plan.

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27 Feb 2015

Kris Yao | Artech wins contest for New Taipei City Museum of Art

The new branch of Taiwan’s National Palace Museum – one of the most-visited museums in the world – is nearing completion and set to open at the end of December. The National Palace Museum (NPM) Southern Branch, which has been designed by Taiwanese architect Kris Yao of Artech, will focus on Asian art and culture. The new museum is located in the southern county of Chiayi, reflecting wider ongoing efforts
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Rendering of Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum-Asian Art and Culture Museum
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