In 2009, our firm completed the master-planning for the Taichung Gateway, a 240-hectare mixed use quarter to be built on the site of the former Municipal Airport in Taichung, Taiwan. In order to raise awareness of the project, and to bring the public onto this spectacular site, we proposed the immediate construction of a temporary exhibition pavilion to display the site and the project. The pavilion has been built inside a large hangar with a clear view of the vast site for the proposed park. Drawings, models and computer animations are displayed within, while an elevated overlook terrace gives the public a view of the progress of construction.
Construction of the InfoBox inside one of the existing hangers on site was a cost effective way to realize the project while also working to leverage the architectural potential of this iconic structure. By re-cycling an existing building we foreground the history of the airport site while at the same time looking forward to a new occupation of the site in the future.
The InfoBox site and program presented a unique opportunity to experiment with non-conventional structures. We proposed to make use of a well-known local building technique, repurposed here to create a distinctive framework for the new InfoBox. Bamboo scaffolding is used to define a simple volume —a bamboo forest—out of which the sequence of exhibition spaces is carved. The dense weave of the bamboo creates complex optical effects that contribute to the iconic presence of the InfoBox. Responding to the need for fast implementation and making the most of a limited budget, the InfoBox re-purposes the ubiquitous bamboo scaffolding technology seen all over Asia. The bamboo structure is not only quick and inexpensive, it is a locally available green technology: all materials will be recycled at the end of the pavilion’s lifespan.