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Music center design contest announces 1st stage winners

The jury for the Taipei Pop Music Center International Competition has released the names of the winners in the first round of competition, including 3 finalists and 4 honorable mentions selected from a total of 114 entries from 30 countries and announced at a press conference held October 23.
The shortlist includes Studio Gang Architects led by female architect, Jeanne Gang (US), noted for Aqua Tower in the US; Reiser + Umemoto RUR Architecture PC, headed by Jesse Reiser (US), whose best-known work is O-14 in Dubai; and Office dA directed by Daniel Gallagher, known for Queen Elizabeth Hall in Belgium. Each winner is entitled to NT$1.65 million in prize money.
The honorable mentions include Morphosis Architects chaired by Thom Mayne (US); Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects (Japan); JDS Architects directed by Julien de Smedt (Denmark); and J.M. Lin Architect, P.C. (US) jointly with The Observer Design Group headed by Zhenguo Cheng (Taiwan). Each winner is entitled to a reward of NT$660,000.
Jury member Brett Steele, Director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, commented that “it's a drastic competition of ideas to construct a new building in a new age.”  
"Catering to each generation's taste for music and demonstrating the variety of music is a great challenge,” said jury Chairman Lars Lerup, Emeritus Professor at the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, USA. 
"Because of the strict budget, we'll have to do serious economic analysis to meet the requirements for the next stage,” said Lerup, adding that “since Taipei is an energetic city, we anticipate selected tenderers to develop a profound understanding of its unique urban culture.”  
Renowned Taiwan architect and principal of Artech Architects
Kris Yao also said that “this project emphasizes a sense of the future, which aims to delve into Taiwan culture and construct a building that suits Taiwan.”     
As the second keen international contest in Taiwan's architecture history, the Taipei Pop Music Center, consisting of a main stadium, an outdoor performing plaza, a hall of fame, a digital library, live houses and display rooms, is designed to cultivate the domestic pop music industry and therefore intensify Taiwan's edge in the Chinese pop music field.
The three finalists will have to attend the second stage competition scheduled for January 29, 2010, and the final winner will be named on the same day. The construction of the music center is slated to begin in 2012 and be completed in 2014.