National Palace Museum in Taiwan unveils designs of Southern Branch

25 March 2011

The National Palace Museum in Taiwan has unveiled the final architectural design for its Southern Branch to be located in Chiayi County, Taiwan.

The entire project will be over TWD7.9 billion ($268 million) and will be spread over an area of 70 hectares. It is expected to become a new cultural and tourism attraction in the Chiayi area. Taipei-based firm Artech Inc. will design the main building of the National Palace Museum Southern Branch. The design will be inspired by three different calligraphy strokes, consisting of black and white curved buildings that meet and cross at each end. The curves and interlacing in the design symbolise the three mainstream ancient civilizations of Asia, China, India and Persia. Motifs of dragons, horses, and elephants from Mainland China, India, and Persia will be featured. A white bridge will also be featured between the buildings to allow visitors to walk past the museum without the need of entering. The building will be quake- and flood-resistant. According to the architect, an advanced technique called "base isolation" will be used to protect the buildings from earthquake damage. The proposed museum will also be constructed with green technology and materials. The project was first approved in 1994 by the Executive Yuan of Taiwan. After overtaking many obstacles, the museum commissioned the Construction and Planning Agency to invite public bidding for the construction in 2009. Construction for the Southern Branch is slated to begin in 2012 and expected to complete in 2015.