The Taichung Convention Center, which was commissioned by the government of Taichung City, is the first state-sponsored project in Taiwan. The project, currently in its design phase, will include offices, a hotel, retail units, and exhibition and convention halls.
Designed by Beijing-based architects MAD, the centre will be constructed in Taichung, Taiwan, over an area of 70,318m².
Meaning ‘central Taiwan’ in Chinese, Taichung is the third-largest city of Taiwan. It has a population of nearly one million people and constitutes a provincial city.
By the end of 2010, Taichung will merge with Taichung County to form one directly controlled municipality.
The convention centre will consist of a series of mountain-shaped buildings resembling a set of pleated volcanoes, and will have a total building area of 216,161m².
Each building will vary in height ranging between 39m and 85m. Open courtyards and balconies will link the buildings to form a sequence of outdoor areas.
The buildings will incorporate a vertical circulation, enclosure system-type structure. Each building will constitute several floors.
A high-technology, eco-friendly pleated-skin system will envelop the building’s basic structure. Integrated with photovoltaic panels, this pleated exterior will use solar power, which will reduce energy consumption. It will also provide natural ventilation, thereby reducing the need for air conditioning.
To allow light to penetrate, the eco-skin will be made up of transparent material on one side, while the other side will be a semi-solid panel.
The Taichung Convention Center will not be based on technology. The project has been inspired by the philosophy of traditional local architecture towards the holistic integration and arrangement of space.
Although it consists of several mountain-like buildings, the project was conceived in its collective form, so the entire centre will be linked to form a unified space.
The project also aims to create a synthesis between humans and nature.
Similar to the Forbidden City and the ancient Chinese gardens, the Taichung Convention Center will emphasise its non-material qualities.
Outdoor spaces will focus on natural aspects. A single tree, a plot of bamboo or a pond will be central points within the architecture.
Adopting Eastern philosophy, the project will redefine the relationship between culture and nature.
The project will smoothly integrate the architecture’s topology with that of its environment, in particular, the building’s crater shape and rotundas will reflect the site’s mountainous conditions.
The site is characterised by an energy-rich landscape that will be influenced and shaped by the architectural design of the Taichung Convention Center.
The project will give a new meaning to the cultural landscape of Taichung. In becoming the city’s metropolitan landmark, the Taichung Convention Center will be influential in reinvigorating urban life and establishing Taichung as a world-class city, thereby redefining traditional architectural philosophies.
Not only will the Taichung Convention Center make a visual impact, it will also promote public recreation and develop communication and imagination. At the same time, the centre will also encourage sustainable development and growth.
Founded in 2004, MAD’s designs are inspired by nature and technology. In 2006, the company was awarded the Architectural League Young Architects Award.
Its projects include Absolute Towers in Toronto, Canada, Sinosteel International Plaza in Tianjin, China, Erdos Museum in Erdos, China, and Urban Forest in Chongqing, China.
The company also has a range of large public complexes and residential housing projects in Costa Rica, Denmark, Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.