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Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, 2020

Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Oyler Wu Collaborative and Taiwanese partner Ren Lai Architects have been chosen to re-envision the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts with a newly renovated exterior that seeks to reconnect the building with its evolving context. The team’s winning design was chosen among competition finalists including Asif Khan with C.M.Chao Architects, Sou Fujimoto Architects with WSAA Design Team, and Liao Architects and Associates.


Encompassed by an extensive ecological park, the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts has been a proud fixture of the city’s expanding arts culture since first opening its doors in 1994. Future urban expansion has designated this location as the cultural interface between newly developed and historic neighbourhoods by acting as what the museum calls the “lungs of the city.” In order to accommodate its new role as a civic gateway, the museum looks to reinvigorate its image as an artistic extension into the surrounding city. The design team has achieved this by constructing an addition to the museum’s existing facade that will engage the building in an entirely new, more lively dialogue within the burgeoning context.


Adrift embodies the artistic aspirations of the museum with a series of ethereal volumes and articulate framework that hovers in front of the existing facade. The outstretched canopy extends a newly revitalized spirit to those who visit and invites them to explore what hides below. High overhead, the sculptural metalwork unfurls delicately as it welcomes guests into the new sunken plaza. Visitors who stroll through this park-like scape can enjoy a shady respite among a forest of plant life and tree-like structures. The redesigned landscape of the park encourages meandering and offers moments of intimacy in which wanderers might find a seat among the architectural elements.

Clinging lightly to branch-like columns, the canopy volumes appear to billow loosely at moments, while intricately interfacing with one another at others. The canopy is carefully composed by contrasting complex forms against a subtle grid, such that moments of expression are balanced by moments of repose. The lively mesh volumes are inlaid intricately within the more laconic framework system that allows specific architectural moments to become more emphatic. The sculptural elegance of the canopy brings an entirely new vitality to the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, and allows the institution to fulfil its integral role as the cultural interface between Kaohsiung and its citizens.

Project Credits:



Oyler Wu Collaborative

Ren Lai Architects

O.W.C. Design Team:

Dwayne Oyler

Jenny Wu

Andy Magner

Hans Koesters

Thompson Burry

Owen Duross

Marianna Girgenti

Curt Budd

Hans Steffes

Paul Germaine McCoy

Burak Celik

Ren Lai Architects Design Team:

Ren Lai

Jiann Jyh Wu

Yuan Ru You

Sin Hua Wei

Structural Engineering:

Dayan Engineering

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