Inotera Headquarters & Production Facility / tec Design Studio

Architect: tec Design Studio
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Partners in Charge: Sebastian Knorr, Heiko Ostmann
Project Managers: Samson Chua, Jens Niemann
Constructed Area: 26,900 sqm
Project Year: 2004
Photographs: © Hisao Suzuki

The Asia Pacific region, an evolving hub for advanced technology and creative intelligence, benefits from a unique juxtaposition of hi-tech development and natural environment. We seized this opportunity, investigating strategies that integrate the latter two and bring the human being back to the center of all deliberation.

site plan

In the case of the Inotera Headquarters in Taipei this is achieved by infusing hi-tech requirements with emotional content. The all façade, typical for standard office buildings, is reinterpreted in light of Taiwan’s tradition of tile construction. Technology is thus explored in order to emulate cultural values and environmental aspects within a contemporary context. As there is no iconographic notion for the ‘Gestalt’ of hi-tech production and engineering facilities, the offi ce building allows for its own expression; hundreds of shapes and colors portrait the formal complexity of natural elements such as the leaves of trees or ripples of water. An intricate assemblage of printed utilizing the latest printing technologies, structural and curtain wall systems, articulates a building that seeks to defi ne its unique identity while assimilating local customs. In contrast to the transparent office structure, an attached fabrication facility provides a fantastic screen for a dada-esque ceramic tile composition that dilutes its scale by use of perspective geometries. Inotera Headquarters in Taipei combined with a fabrication facility aims at creating a sense of identification, persona, and location for a new joint venture between a European and an Asian company. The structure’s working title “the culture lab” emphasizes its role in making the most of cultural differences while evoking the ambience of a social laboratory.


The building façades are used to explore the issue of fragmentation, the assembly of hundreds of colors and forms, such as tree branches and river streams, by exploiting modern technology. Nature is complex and so is architecture (literally its second nature) with all its maze-like interplays and weaves. Where as the office facades feed off the transparency of glass, the production spaces draw on the opacity of ceramics. The building is drawing on technology, the basic tools of the trade, but most significantly calling for human intervention to guide the process of architectural creation.


Aluminum wrapped for earthquake stabilization, weave the building to the ground.


Bring light and 3 dimensionality to the deep office space on the upper floors.


Digitally synchronized design – manufacturing process Glass is ink jet printed and automatically sorted for installation. Variations of print are handled automatically by integrated process.


A composition of various shades of the same tone. 2 widths of panel x 4 heights x 6 shades of green (red) x 4 densities = 192 variations.

Cite: "Inotera Headquarters & Production Facility / tec Design Studio" 16 Apr 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Balkan

    as a whole not much impressive but has some interesting details.

  • jon

    Its like a mixed bag of treats that don’t taste so good.

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  • Paul Buckley

    Inotera Headquarters &amp; Production Facility / tec Design Studio

  • ellen

    i worked in there b4, funny, when u sat in your work station, looked around, it is juz another office building, u wondered what was the fuss all about? (coloured glass?what colour glass? but it is a good landmark description to the taxi driver, they knew which building we meant.)

    one thing commendable about this building – it is bloody difficult to build and hats off for those contractors persisted to end without much leaking through the facade.

    is the true spirit of ARCHITECTURE to make contractors’ lives difficult? u cannot help to wonder when standing under the v-column staring at the colourful facade.

    i was only happy that i was not the project architect then, phewwwww…

  • JDR

    so heavy, my stomach .. pfff

    why did they decide to break up the facade in little peaces. Looks like a crushed skyscraper, a vertically downsized part of manhattan.


  • kc

    makes me feel like I have a hangover..I like the small white thing across the street though..

  • bib

    This is a very good example for a very bad glass architecture – same terrible as Sauerbruch&Hutton “architecture”

  • lm

    If you want to see a good glass architecture example, then check Diener&Diener Architects at Novartis Campus in Basel, Switzerland! There TEC “design” studio could learn a lot!!!

  • Ala

    @Ellen, it is not difficult to build. It is a typical curtail wall facade, where glass panels are joined by structural silicone.Those joints are water proof at least for some 20-30 years.

  • Olivier M.

    Inotera Headquarters & Production Facility / tec Design Studio. This is an amazing building! :)

  • ellen

    sorry ala, should i say tedious? i really dont like things like this.

    u know they r all of different sizes, random colours (in a way is easy bcos no one will notice anywrong placing), so many joints…well, it juz did not appeal to my liking for no-nonsense architecture…

    anyway, i m sure there are some1 out there who will like it. design and creativity are very personal.

    i wish the original project architect can say something here. or is that u?

  • Lucas Gray

    I looks like a marriage of Sauerbruch Hutton and Alsop but with a little less elegance. You don’t need 192 colors. Pick 10 and work with that.

  • hj

    the glass and zigzagging columns remind me of Neutelings-Riedijk TV museum, but not in a good way. It’s just much too much of everything.

  • ellen

    ya ya, that’s the right phrase, much too much of everything…and only on the surface, therefore the whole idea is very shallow.

    like too much make-up.

  • TachunLIN
  • Jacky
  • Ian Barton

    Inotera Headquarters & Production Facility / tec Design Studio

  • Érica Morgado

    thought i was the only one. this is too much;