public gate
taichung, taiwan
type of commission
international competition
taichung city government
80m usd
1.16 ha
20’000 m2 public library & 15’000 m2 fine arts museum
project team
grégoire du pasquier, manuel der hagopian, adrien besson, nicolas moser, victor diaz ortega, nguyen van thanh, virginie ganz, nguyen duy tan, pham thu thuy, nguyen anh minh
project date

Icons are human landmarks that men have created as symbols for their ideals, their aims, and their actions. They are intended to outlive the period in which they originated, to constitute a heritage for future generations. As such, they form a link between the past and the future. Every bygone era that shaped a real cultural life had the power and the capacity to create these symbols. Genuine monuments are, therefore, only possible in periods in which a unifying consciousness and culture exist.

Among the examples of large scale projects which have made their mark on the hundred last years, we bring to mind: the Golden Gate Bridge, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the Flatiron building. More recently there has been: the highest Burj Khalifa tower, the Petronas Towers and Beijing Stadium. These various examples are remarkable due to their great dimensions: they are the highest and largest. But there exists another way of considering the role of a building icon: by a particular form that evokes sensations or feelings. In this way, the phenomenon of the icon can equally manifest itself - one need only think of the Lloyds Building in London, Sydney Opera House, the Space Needle in Seattle or the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao to understand this kind of iconic sensory evocation.

Our proposal is a contemporary icon for Taichung. A Taichung Cultural City Center that represents people’s social and community life, with aspirations for monumentality, joy and pride, as well as sensations to be satisfied. The site of Taichung, with its great release onto the Park, is particularly well adapted to accommodate such a building icon. Whenever we travel to far flung places, we’re attracted to famous buildings. It’s not that most of us have a deep interest in the technicalities of architecture. It’s more about how the design of these buildings reflects the era and culture in which they were built.