The CUBE Pavilion / Quality Innovation United
Text description provided by the architects. Quality Innovation United (QIU) has completed THE CUBE for the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts’ International Container Art Festival. The festival’s theme of Van Buren Supernova revolves around light, stars, hope, and a new life. THE CUBE is to spark the imagination about Kaohsiung’s future while firmly linked to the city’s port heritage. The pavilion is the most ambitious structure and largest pavilion in more than a decade of the Kaohsiung International Container Arts Festival.
THE CUBE – communicating vessels through interstellar corridors – is a pavilion consisting of a white, lightweight rectangular steel frame structure. It generates a hierarchy of spaces in which five container-like objects engage uniquely by hanging, floating, and escaping. The visitors are invited to explore the structure and the floating volumes freely. The dynamic lighting and materiality of the volumes offer the visitor a multi-dimensional interaction. Located on pier 9 in the regenerated art district of the city, this post-industrial setting has a perfect view of the Kaohsiung harbor. Various framed views can be discovered when looking through the volumes.
Due to the pandemic, containers are a scarce commodity, alternative materials were used to construct the pavilion. Lightweight translucent Polycarbonate panels retain the shape of the container, creating horizontal luminous volumes. They are guided by the interconnected lines of light – enabling visitors to explore the mobility of the unknown. The pulsating translucent horizontal vessels evoke curiosity, and guide visitors into the center of THE CUBE, while the pulsating rhythm of light and dark represents the pulse of life. The visitors are invited to enter a horizontal vessel to examine the ‘breathing organism of light’. They are perceived as silhouettes to the spectators on the outside and as such, they become performers of the art installation.
Through the hollow vertical container in the center of the pavilion, a connection is made between the visitor and the sky. While gazing through the kaleidoscope-like interior, the sky offers infinite reflections of itself. It explores a common theme between the container and the star, they are vessels that deliver tangibles and ideas. THE CUBE’s design with accessible hung containers, slender structural frame, and sheer overall dimensions (15m x15m x12m), was challenging due to its location – high typhoon and seismic risk. To achieve a slender structural frame while safeguarding the original design composition of the structural frame module of 3m x 3m and strategically inserting a 1m x 1m subframe – providing structural integrity to support the floating volumes – the square hollow section of the structure has subsequently been increased to 50mmx50mm. A change is barely noticeable due to the scale of the pavilion.
Sustainability has been at the forefront of our design process; we minimized the weight of the structure by carefully selecting the right materials and the live load arrangement. All building materials, including the light fittings, of the pavilion, were recycled post-exhibition. The generous support from the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts as well as the enthusiasm and expertise of collaborators, contractors, and sponsors during the construction process have made this pavilion possible. We are proud of the high-quality finish of the pavilion.’ – Yolanda Oud
THE CUBE kicked off the Taiwan Lantern Festival this year during which over a hundred thousand people visited the pavilion. QIU’s pulsating luminous containers appeared to be floating among the lines of light, together they transformed Kaohsiung Port’s industrial skyline.