A decommissioned airport in Taichung, Taiwan will soon be the site for a 600-acre brownfield redevelopment called Gateway Park. To help folks understand the project, Stan Allen Architect was commissioned to design a venue for public assembly and education with a very modest budget of 1 million dollars. The solution is an inspired bamboo-clad reclamation of an old airplane hangar called the 'Taichung InfoBox'. The new structure hits all the right notes of sustainable design, creating an inspiring a vision of what's to come over the next twenty years when the main development comes to fruition.
The original thought was to reclaim an airport terminal for displays of the proposed green development, but when the budget came in so low, the design team took a fresh tact by reclaiming the immense hanger, adding in a bamboo and steel observation deck, gallery, and auditorium. While the venue’s use dictated a steel superstructure, locally sourced bamboo made a perfect wall system. And its earthy and soft quality contrasts smartly with the voluminous steel and glass space.
The space is located near the redevelopment, allowing visitor to get a first hand glimpse of the project. The auditorium will host various events and galleries contain installations of green building technologies.
The temporary space is made up of 12,000 square feet with 40,000 pieces of bamboo lashed together to provide multiple public venues — all this for around $80 a square foot. The InfoBox is to stay in place for 2 years, and after will then be disassembled with the bamboo reclaimed for other uses and the steel recycled.
Lead photo © Wei Ming Yuan
Photos © Iwan Baan