Form4 Architecture has been awarded first place in the 2013 WAN Civic Buildings Competition for a proposal that promises to be a "catalyst for metropolitan living" in Taichung, Taiwan. The new city center, titled "Luminous Moon-Gate," was selected out of 46 entries in the "Future Schemes" category.
The concept would replace several abandoned military camps and the former Shuinan airport. It is organized around a vertical library and a horizontal museum, both housed within monumental cylindrical spaces that land softly upon a publicly accessible platform grounded on an undulating landscape. These ovals are clad in glass and covered by aluminum louvers for shading and diffused daylighting, giving an otherwise monolithic series of buildings a visually transparent appearance - "lanterns of knowledge."
The cylinders are rotated as to create dual axis on the site, providing pedestrian access from the nearby street and adjacent urban park. The turn, however, represents a more culturally significant concept; it is "a gate toward a responsible future, a center regenerative of community life, a landmark for orientation," states Form4 Architecture, "each building axis points to pivotal parts of the park and city."
The "grand stair" rises from the street to enter the library which divides into four "great" spaces: the cascade, the forum, the void and the reading room, representing the vertical culmination of the site. The vastness of these spaces offer the public an opportunity to learn, experience and take on a new perspective of the city below. "Education, personal growth, citizenship and the fostering of the arts will regain center stage in the life of Taichung," the architects claim.