Tainan waterfront

Netherland based architecture studio MVRDV was announced winner for the competition to reconnect Tainan’s center to its waterfront. Following a flourishing period of the fishing and marine  industry that led to a rapid expansion of the city, the city waterfront was forgotten and left behind, when a big China-Town Mall was built, although it didn’t last long, and soon it was abandoned. The team’s design is aiming at re-creating a long lost connection to the nature by ”transforming the China-Town Mall and its perpendicular axis Haian Road, which together form the T-axis” and to ”re-establish the waterfront connection and provide an important stimulus to the redevelopment of the neighbourhood by encouraging the use of public spaces and creating a cohesive urban language. ”

Courtesy of MVRDV

According to the proposal the plan is to use the structure of the China-Town Mall as a base for the new public space. Alongside the public square, a luxuriant green lagoon, playgrounds and walking lanes, there will be also small commercial boutiques and kiosks, an info point, a teahouse and a gallery. The routing system is configured in such a way as to reduce the traffic speed, and at night the roads in this area would be completely closed, in order to give pedestrians access to pedestrian only route.

Courtesy of MVRDV

Winy Maas: “This flooded old mall is going to be a poetic lagoon and an hip urban pool: a symbolic act.” Alongside the waterfront, an artificial beach will be created, together with a promenade, to restore the lost view other the sea. ”The current amalgamation of different pavements will be unified according to various functions to improve wayfinding. This approach is further applied to the scattered objects along the road: ventilation shafts, elevators and entrances to the underground parking garage will be wrapped in a glass skin, and extended to create new pavilions, kiosks and viewing towers. An array of ‘lanterns’ of various sizes will appear, activating the public space and creating a cohesive urban language. Additionally, local trees and shrubs will be planted all along Haian Road, creating a green corridor through to the new lagoon and the reconnected waterfront.”

Courtesy of MVRDV

The beginning of the construction Tainan, Taiwan, is scheduled for September 2016.
Location : Tainan, Taiwan
Year : 2015+
Client : Tainan City Government
Program : Transformation of 5.46 ha into public space
Team: MVRDV / Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries with Jeroen Zuidgeest, Hui-Hsin Liao, Ángel Sánchez Navarro, Stephan Boon
Images: Aplus Digital Technology Co., Ltd
Urban Planners: The Urbanists Collaborative, Taipei, Taiwan
Local Architect: LLJ Architects, Taipei, Taiwan
Landscape Designers: Progressive Environmental Inc., Taipei Taiwan
Structure Design: Urban Sculptor, Taipei, Taiwan
Traffic Engineers: THI Consultants Inc., Taipei, Taiwan
MEP: Songsing Engineering Consultants Inc., Taipei, Taiwan


By Cristina Juc

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