Taiwan Architecture Awards winners

Niki May Young
Wednesday 29 Oct 2008

Competition proves too tough to decide...

The 30th Taiwan Architecture Awards announced a surprise double win yesterday following an extremely tight competition. A panel of five judges awarded The Far East Telecom Building by ARCTANGENT aRCHITECTURE + dESIGN and the Redevelopment of the Old Loudong Wood Farm by Field.

Far East Telecom Building is located on the campus of the Yuan Ze University, a new university founded by the Far East Group. This building consists classrooms, labs, faculty offices, conference halls and auditoriums. The judges agreed that this project has successfully created a flowing space not only visually but also physically through the seemingly randomly extending stairs. The designer Kyle C. K. Yang said he was inspired by the cyber structure of the Internet, and his spatial arrangement attempts to reduce individual, separated rooms for classes while increasing open space where students are able to learn with encouraged interactions.

The judges were impressed by such a huge volume still can be well presented by concrete slabs. The masterly application of architectural elements has wonderfully created a flowing poetry in spaces. Yang's ambition to challenge the existing constructing technology available in Taiwan and the explosive energy he has demonstrated in such a task is one of the reasons he is awarded with the First Prize.

The Redevelopment of the Loudong Wood Farm is a project of at least five phases, and to architect Huang Sheng-Yuan, it is an endless project for himself and for local people. Canopies and wooden bridges are transformed from the most common structures in the rainy Loudong, they provide very relaxing spaces for local people to exercise, to take a walk, or to gather together simply for chatting. In the future a Sky Art Gallery and two stages for concerts among other facilities will be built for diversified events and performances.

It is an usual thing to award a project only 30% completed, but the judges wish to honor it because they are moved by Huang's long time devotion in this place and his effort in communicating with not only the county councilors and local elected officials but also everyone concerns in this neighborhood. Though most of the structures are not yet erected, the accomplished 30% has set out a much more significant starting point for quality urban and rural planning as well as more realistic and sincere public involvement.

Another three Honorable Mentions are Hsinkang Art High School(master plan and all buildings, including two old houses renovation on the site), Student Gymnasium of the Hisndien High School and a collective housing titled "Well-Tempered Clavier".

Taiwan Architecture Awards is organized by the Taiwan Architect Magazine. Over the past 30 years the Awards have been looking for value and perspective that can best present Taiwanese architecture.

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