The Dutch firm of architects MVRDV is to design a new lagoon in the city centre of Tainan in Taiwan. The project will entail the demolition of the China-Town shopping mall, which was built in 1983 and is now in urgent need of replacement due to its dilapidated state of repair.
This decadent building is no longer what it was in the time of expansion of the Republic of China’s fourth most populated city and is now known as Tainan’s “rotten tooth”. The team of urbanists The Urbanist Collective, a local firm of architects, LLJ Architects, and the landscape designers, Progressive Environmental, amongst others, make up the team alongside which the prestigious firm of Dutch architects was selected in a call to tender by the city authorities.
The winning proposal is mainly based on adding an attractive walkway that will connect the city to the waterfront. Thanks to this green corridor, this part of Tainan will be transformed into a more pleasant area for pedestrians, with a lot more shrubs and trees despite being in the middle of a thriving business area.
The idea of the team made up of Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries also includes adding new stores and restaurants, as well as new public swimming pools. The trees will also give the area a new greener and friendlier feel. The new canal will be flanked by sand dunes and various pieces of urban furniture. The architects are seeking to recover the views that this area of the city once had and that were blocked many years ago by the unsightly shopping mall.
According to the authors, the design of the new public spaces are inspired by the natural lagoons that could be found in Taiwan before the expansion of the city, which once had a flourishing local fishing industry. This winning design will greatly stimulate the redevelopment of the neighbourhood by encouraging the use of public spaces and creating a cohesive urban language.