Supervised by Architecture Associate Professor Min-jay Kang, Architecture master sophomore Zhi-tan Lin and five others won the Specialty Award with their designed work “Spatial Limbo” out of 280 competing works in “The 4th Rotterdam Bi-Annual Exhibition.” It is the first such award won by a Department of Architecture in Taiwan! In addition, supervised by Architecture Lecturer Lo-e Tsao, the work “Zhongxin” by 7 Architecture seniors was also on the Exhibition List, and it would be exhibited on RDM Campus until January 10, 2010.
From Sept. 19 to 28, the 15 Faculty members and students were at The 4th Rotterdam Bi-Annual Architecture Exhibition, which is a prestigious important international exhibition, attracting many internationally renowned participants, as it has the similar honor to the Venice Bi-Annual Architecture Exhibition. In the past, only the work “Sea Taiwan” jointly by the Association of Architects and the Graduate Institute of Architecture, Chiao Tung University was invited to the Exhibition in 2005. This year TKU had two works entered the Exhibition just as same as Harvard University and The Delft University of Technology, so the designing level of TKU’s Department of Architecture is internationally affirmed.
“Spatial Limbo” was designed by master sophomore Zhi-tan Lin and TKU alimni Jun-yan Chen, Yong-yu Chen, Jong-xian He, Jun-yao Ke and Shi-xiang Lin under the supervision of Prof. Min-jay Kang. The work explored the space that had not developed in unison with the metropolitan development. They selected 4 sites as the bases of their works, including the old industrial site of the Naval Fuel Depot at Hsinchu, the lower floors of Taipei Wanxiang Building, the hillside self-reliant building settlement on Taipei Wolung Street, the sea coast greenland of Keelung’s Hoping Islands, and they carefully observed the landscapes, the culture and the life styles of the local people in their design. Thus their works were full of rich elements of humanitarianism and natural scenery. Their methods of combining a lot of verbal descriptions with charts and photos were also quite different from past concepts.
Yong-yu Chen said, “It took about half a year for us to find out the feasible direction of the work. With a long time of observation and absorption, we could look at those sites with different attitudes.” Prof. Min-jay Kang excitedly said that their work caused enthusiastic discussion among the judges. The planner of the Venice Bi-Annual Architecture Exhibition last year even said that he would come to Taiwan to see the sites in November. He explained, “As strong competitors such as Harvard University and Berkley University were there, we didn’t expect to win the award. We were happily surprised when TKU was announced. We felt specially honored to capture the award with extremely less resources!” All participants felt unexpectedly and happily surprised. Yong-yu Chen happily said, “We have experienced ‘cultural shock’ in Holland, and started new creative impulsion!”
“Zhongxin” was based on the well-preserved Taipei Zhongxin Settlement, echoing the theme of the Rotterdam Bi-Annual Exhibition “Open the Metropolis and Design for the Life of All.” Architecture graduating seniors Zhong-kai Xie, Wei-ru Chang, Shu-ya Fan, Jian-zhu Li, Zhen-fu Deng, Wei-ren Ke and Wen-biao Chang respectively designed 7 different works related to the Village for Military Dependants, attempting to find the possible reactivation of the Village to call on the public to care about it. For example, Wei-ru Chang reserved the Village walls, but tear down former old houses and used the space for a Village Park. She said, “We study people’s life style there, hoping preserve the unique history of the Village with our designs.” ( ~Dean X. Wang )