Urbanization has reduced creativity, joy and the connection between ourselves and nature. Vast economic growth has led us to build more and more, higher and higher. Yet, at the same time, people are not happier and healthier with this growth. In recent years, instead of blindly developing, various cities have tried to re-capture the joy and enjoyment of the city through new architecture and urban design. We start looking into our own traditional, cultural, historical context while modernising our cities.
In this short trip to Taiwan, we begin by visiting the emerging new city Taichung, examining its effort in re-claiming the city for people. In the last two days, we will visit Tainan, the emerging ‘old’ city of Taiwan.
In Taichung, we will see how old buildings have been creatively rejuvenated. The emphasis on art and culture as forces of revitalisation will be obvious in the places we will visit. We visit the beautiful and serene Fu-Gui Sanyi Art & Culture Gallery (富貴三義館), the latest Asia Museum of Modern Art (亞洲現代美術館) by Tadao Ando and the newly opened Taichung Metropolitan Opera House (台中大都會歌劇院) by Toyo Ito. Miyahara (宮原眼科) and Ice-cream Parlour (第四信用合作社) are two excellent examples of transforming old buildings into up-beat fashionable hot-spots of the town. Fantasy Story Green Ray (范特喜綠光計畫), Taiwan Water Market (台水宿舍商場) and Chung Shun Market (忠信市場) are attempts in Taichung to rejuvenate old buildings and fabric as new living, shopping and art spaces.
After Taichung, we head to Tainan, the oldest city in Taiwan and a living museum for us to read into the history of Taiwan. Streets are important gathering places as they are like living rooms of the city. It is where we get together and feel connected. In this trip, we will visit Haian Road (海安路) where we will see the use of art to rejuvenate an old street, also Sheng Lung Street (神農街) and Jhenging Street (正興街). Along these streets, we can sense their warm and touching stories, their hardship and their new life. We see tea houses, book shops, cafés, Minshu (民宿), architect’s office and dining room for the community.
Corrin Chan is Director of AOS Architecture and is a registered architect in Hong Kong. She is vice-chair of Hong Kong Architecture Centre and Chair of Board of Internal Affairs of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects. She received her Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University New York and Master in Architecture (Distinction) from the University of Hong Kong.
Corrin has had an extensive working experience in architecture and interior both in Hong Kong and in America. Corrin was involved in curating exhibitions, architecture book publications, writing articles on architecture, art installation works and collaborations with other disciplines. She has curated several exhibitions: ‘Reveal 築自室’, ‘朝行晚拆’,‘HK97 International Ideas Competitions’. She is co-author for several books: 〈2021 Emerging Hong Kong Young Architects〉, 〈空間的故事〉, 〈建築師的見觸思〉, 〈熱戀建築〉, 〈the 逼 City〉. Corrin has collaborated in spatial design for performances: ‘The Duras Project: Moderato Cantabile/ C’est Tout’, ‘Threshold’ in New York and ‘The Notes from a Schizophrenic City’.
Corrin loves to travel. She has led tours for the HKU Museum Society as well as for the Hong Kong Architecture Centre to Taiwan and Korea.