Plans to revive the waterfront region of Tainan, connecting it once again to more natural elements, have resulted in a winning design by MVRDV that features a green corridor and natural lagoon.
The winning design in a competition aimed at transforming the t-axis of downtown Tainan in Taiwan, was awarded to Rotterdam firm MVRDV. The urbanism practice holds a progressive approach to solving global issues, and together with Urbanists Collaborative and LLJ Architects aims to reconnect the city of Tainan with nature through a design that includes a public corridor of green space and an artificial lagoon. The scheme will be located along Tainan’s busy Haian Road.
Known for its natural lagoons and water network, the city’s waterways served as the base for its fishing industry up until the early 20th century. A rapid expansion of urban growth in Taiwan, prompted by land reclamation and urban planning, has seen the shipping and fishing industry moved further inland. The plan for the green corridor aims to re-establish a waterfront connection and revive the area by demolishing the existing China-Town Mall that currently blights the region.
"This flooded old mall is going to be a poetic lagoon and a hip urban pool: a symbolic act," said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. "The connection with the waterfront will be completed by a green promenade and an artificial beach along the canal so as to celebrate the re-established view to the sea and the removal of the shopping mall, which previously obscured it."
The new public space will provide tourists and locals alike with a series of amenities, including a public square, commercial units, a point of contact for tourist information, a tea house and an art gallery. The new lagoon to be built into the centre of the space will also include dunes and a playground, and will be landscaped with native flora. The landscape designers on the project are local firm Progressive Environmental Inc from Taipei.
New transport nodes will be constructed, assisting in the redirection of the current flow of traffic, to create a more pedestrian friendly zone that will encourage use of the public space and established activities targeted for the area. The area will be completely closed to traffic during the evenings, further encouraging tourists, locals and businesses to expand out into the space and make full use of the amentities.
The new plan will also incorporate the existing civil infrastructure, folding it into its design. New pathways will be designed to connect to existing corridors and assist in navigation around the new area. Ventilation shafts, elevators, carpark entrances and the like will be wrapped in glass skins and extended to create pavilions and kiosks, further creating a harmony between the inner areas of the city and the new corridor to the waterfront.
The project is scheduled to begin construction in late 2016.