TAICHUNG GATEWAY PARK, TAIWAN
Rising from the earth at the Taichung Gateway Park, the Taiwan Tower soars above the peak of Dadu Mountain, a shining beacon of progress that is visible from the land, sea and air. This “lighthouse” will shimmer during the day as the reflective skins of the legs reflect the changing mood of the sky as the tower twists heavenward. At night, the lighthouse is at its most dramatic as the fractal materiality becomes an animated dance of light dissolving the structure into the heavens. Building on the centuries old function of guiding ships at sea, the lighthouse is a modern day beacon of democracy that reflects the uplifting spirit of the Taiwanese people. An ancient idea steeped in tradition, a new landmark that speaks to the power of technology and environmental stewardship.
The lighthouse tower is a simple idea that is grounded in timeless notions of human culture that resonates with all people of the world. The site is preserved as much as possible as a natural landscape that is populated by the native species and becomes an extension of the central park. Where the tower sits at the south western corner of the site it erupts from the soil as the ground plane of the park is peeled back around the three legs of the lighthouse allowing the tower to rise from the earth, much as a flower in springtime twisting towards the light of the sun. The museum is nestled under the eastern folds of the earth surrounding the tower and its primary views are focused upward on the roots of the tower legs as they rise above the plaza at the base. This is one of the most dramatic views of the tower looking up as the three triangular legs come together in a structural gesture of strength into a singular triangular form that is also a metaphor of the merger of culture, people and the city and county governments. This competition was a team effort between TSK, DesignWorkshop and LERA.