qiu installs the cube in kaohsiung, taiwan
For the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts International Container Art Festival, Quality Innovation United (QIU) Architects have completed The Cube, an ambitious project pavilion which perfectly embodies the Van Buren Supernova festival theme and encourages participants to explore light, stars, hope and a new life. Located on a pier in Kaohsiung’s rebuilt art district, Taiwan, The Cube seeks to stimulate the imagination by reflecting on the future of Kaohsiung while remaining firmly rooted in the city’s port heritage. QIU’s concept takes form in a lightweight cuboid frame structure containing five luminous containers that appear to float between the interconnected lines of light, transforming the industrial skyline of Kaohsiung Port and encouraging visitors to explore the mobility of the unknown.
When the visitor enters The Cube, he becomes the performer of the art installation
all images courtesy of QIU
luminous floating containers arouse curiosity
The Cube of QIU – ‘Communicating Ships Through Interstellar Corridors’ – Considered the most ambitious structure and largest pavilion in more than a decade of the Kaohsiung International Container Arts Festival. “We wanted to challenge everything, not just the size of the structure, but the program, the material, the lighting and the way people engage with it.” notes that lead architect Young Chiu.
The interactive pavilion consists of a white, lightweight, rectangular steel frame structure that creates a hierarchy of spaces in which five hollow, container-like objects hang and float. The Architects Use lightweight, translucent polycarbonate panels that maintain the shape of the container structures, creating horizontal luminous volumes that arouse curiosity. Connected lines of light guide visitors, inviting them to explore the structure, climb the frame and enter the hollow containers. The dynamic lighting and materiality of the volumes offer visitors a multidimensional interaction to explore and investigate the mobility of the unknown ‘breathing light organism’. The hollow vertical container at the center of the pavilion establishes a connection between the visitor and the sky, in an exploration of a common theme between the container and the star. Looking through the kaleidoscopic interior, the sky offers infinite reflections of itself. A steady rhythm of light and dark is created to represent the pulse of life. Inside, visitors are treated to a framed view of Kaohsiung Port. Meanwhile, they are perceived from the outside as silhouettes and become performers in the art installation.
the hollow vertical container establishes a connection between the visitors and the sky
an exploration of light, stars, hope and a new life
‘Sustainability was at the forefront of our design process’, explain the architects. With carefully selected materials – which were recycled after the exhibition – and a strategic payload arrangement, the weight of the structure was minimized. To achieve a sleek structural framework while maintaining the original design composition, QIU inserts a smaller subframe that provides structural integrity to support the floating volumes and increases the area of the structure’s square hollow section. The design of the cube, with accessible suspended containers, slim structural frame and sheer overall dimensions, was challenging due to its location, which faces high typhoon and seismic risk. Therefore, the main frame was anchored to steel H-beams beneath the floating ground floor deck to create a solid foundation capable of withstanding typhoons.
the pulsating light-dark rhythm of the translucent vessels represents the pulse of life