The dream and pride of Taichung citizens! Taichung Green Museumbrary will be designed by world-renowned Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa - who were jointly awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2010 – in conjunction with prominent Taiwanese architect Ricky Liu, featuring the largest museum-library structural design in the country. The project broke ground today (16th).
According to Mayor Shiow-yen Lu, the new city hall administration strived to overcome all obstacles in a bid to see the Taichung Green Museumbrary come to fruition. The promise was realized today with the project's groundbreaking, setting a new example for public construction in Taiwan and creating another grand landscape for Greater Taichung.
Sprawling across an area of 254 hectares, Shuinan Economic and Trade Park features numerous pioneering buildings such as Shuinan International Convention Center and Central Taiwan Cinema Center, which are already under construction. The groundbreaking of Taichung Green Museumbrary today signifies that Taichung is undergoing metamorphosis. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Lu commented that Shuinan is the region with the greatest potential in Taichung, therefore the "library in the park and art museum in the forest" will be constructed to become the largest museum-library complex in Taiwan.
Mayor Lu explained that the city hall has invested NT$3. 7 billion for the construction of Taichung Green Museumbrary, with completion and opening slated for 2022 and 2025 respectively. Although the project will not be finished within her first mayoral stint, she said that it is okay because we are beginning to develop Greater Taichung. She stressed that the new city hall has constantly outdone itself to materialize her election promise and live up to the citizens' expectations. With a total investment of NT$ 5.8 billion, the Greater Taichung International Expo Center also broke ground in March this year. Let us advance our city in leaps and bounds!
Mayor Lu pointed out that the international design competition for Taichung Green Museumbrary started 6 years ago, but the project failed to attract successful bidders 3 times over the recent years, so she is determined to see the project through. After the new city hall administration reviewed and amended the tender documentation, the contract was awarded to a contractor in June this year, and construction commenced successfully today.
She especially thanked the contributions of all the colleagues involved in the Taichung Green Museumbrary project, in particular, the efforts of frontline colleagues from the Construction Bureau. She said that this is the dream and pride of the citizens, thus she has invited 88 guests including school teachers, students, educational professionals, veteran artists, representatives from the construction industry, city hall consultants, elected representatives, as well as senior officials and frontline employees from the city hall involved in the project to join the groundbreaking ceremony, as "it is everyone's Taichung Green Museumbrary!"
According to Kazuyo Sejima, this is the grandest, most moving groundbreaking ceremony she has ever attended, and she has a special connection to Taichung because her mother was born in Taipei and raised in Taichung, and she also lived with her mother in Taiwan for a period of time, not to mention that this is her first public construction project in the country.
Over the last 6 years, she has met extensively with the city hall administration in an effort to present Taichung Green Museumbrary to the people. It is hoped that the baton can be passed onto the citizens once the project is completed in order to flesh it out and imbue Taichung Green Museumbrary with even more splendor.
In response to the media's question concerning the difference between Taichung Green Museumbrary and previous architectural designs, Kazuyo Sejima pointed out that Taichung Green Museumbrary combines a library with a fine arts museum, which is a rare sight to behold. An interconnection of 8 open buildings with ecological characteristics forms a complex, with each building offering a wide range of professional services targeting different age groups. When completed, it will be the largest library in Taiwan in terms of single-floor surface area. The buildings are elevated so that they are level with the park, turning it into a square that in turn allows more people to appreciate the complex up close.
Construction Bureau Director-General Ta-tien Chen indicated that the Taichung Green Museumbrary project was launched by former Taichung Mayor Jason Hu, and an international design competition for the project held in 2013, drawing 225 submissions, the most of any public design contest in Taiwan. After two phases of fierce competitions, the design contract was awarded to Ricky Liu & Associates Architects + Planners in Taiwan and Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, who co-founded the architectural firm SANAA.
The Construction Bureau elaborated that Taichung Green Museumbrary has 2 SRC basement floors with a sound insulation layer and 7 floors above ground with steel structure, creating a total floor area of 58,016m2. Construction of the main building structure is slated for completion in late 2022 followed by interior furnishing, and the complex will be inaugurated in 2025, thereby starting a new chapter in the development of culture and arts of central Taiwan.
Today, both Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa and Taiwanese architect Ricky Liu visited Taichung in person. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa presented the model of Taichung Green Museumbrary to Mayor Lu, who in turn gave it to the students of Wenshan Elementary School as a symbol of education and cultural heritage.
Mayor Lu, SANAA chief architects Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa and Ricky Liu & Associates Architects + Planners chief architect Ricky Liu all attended the ceremony in the company of other dignitaries including Deputy Mayor Chiung-ying Yang, Deputy Secretary-Generals Ju-chang Chen and Kang-chen Chu, as well as the Director-Generals of various bureaus and departments in the city hall, Ministry of Culture, Executive Yuan Secretary-General Tench-chin, Chen, legislator Kuo-shu Huang, city councilors Chung Li, Chen-chung Yang, Cheng-hsien Chen, Nai-lun Chang Liao, Wen-cheng Chen, Shou-ta Huang, Cheng-tien Chen, Hsin-hui Huang, and You-lien Shen.
In addition, city hall advisors Ching-chi Wu, Hui-tang Lin, Taichung Real Estate Development Association President Cheng-hsiung Lin, Great Taichung Real Estate Development Association President Chih-liang Wang, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts Chi-ming Lin, as well as numerous college/university presidents, senior high school/ elementary school principals and representatives, directors of cultural and educational foundations, veteran artists and student representatives who have obtained reading certifications (Chi-jui Yeh from Wenshan Elementary School, Pei-ching Chen from Zhongzheng Elementary School, Tzu-hao Liu from Anding Elementary School, Chih-liang Cheng from Neixin Elementary School in Dali) all turned out for the majestic groundbreaking ceremony.