Text description provided by the architects. Taiwan is the origin of Austronesian culture, and is located at the northern-most area of the cultural region. The unique Austronesian architectural style has been shaped by its climate, oceans and forest, and has deeply inspired our design concept. Just within 50 km, Taitung’s topography ranges from sea level to mountains of 3000 meters. Taitung consists of seven different tribes, spread between the ocean and the mountains.
This project aims to portray the architectural elements of the Austronesian culture. The design uses a large roof covering, creating a shaded space suitable for Austronesian activities. The design facilitates wind flow throughout the structure, and allows sunlight to shine through the beetle nut trees, ferns, shell flowers, and various other types of Austronesian plant life, creating an experience of being surrounded by the rainforest.
The aboriginal handcraft shops utilize recycled container houses, arranged in different directions to create the effect of a “market” space. In Taiwan, there are approximately 10,000 containers retrieved from the ocean each year, providing about 15,000 m² of recycled space. Unlike typical buildings, this project consists of two different types of spaces: individually air conditioned units and naturally ventilated outdoor walkways. In Taitung’s tropical climate, individualized air conditioning reduces the refrigerating ton by 50%, and the electricity use by 60%.
The shape of the roof corresponds to the fluctuating topography. Its slanted surface connects to the railway and the hotel buildings, and collects rainwater into five small ponds at the plaza. Aboriginal art often utilizes talisman to portray historical and spiritual stories. The steel structure of the roof incorporates diamond shapes that symbolize the eyes of the ancestral spirits.