Skyline as structure: A telescopic Urban Theater
FIRST PRIZE, 2010 COMPETITION
Urban Scope is located at the historical site of Huashan Station, which was once the largest transportation hub and freight center in Taipei City in the early days. Today, it is a green space adjoining the Huashan 1914 Creative Park and is part of the government’s ambitious east to west gateway urban renewal masterplan. The Bureau of Urban Renewal is charged with the creation of this semi-permanent public arts space to reinforce Taipei’s vision as a design capital. Straddling the 140m long historical rail platform, Urban Scope intends to reinstate the site’s history as a city on the move, an “urban mass” that slides on recycled railway tracks and train wheels to create multiple spatial configurations for various types and scales of events. Urban Scope is a multi-functional public space that can be “transformed,” a dynamic pavilion reflecting the dramatic urban transformations of Taipei City.
Framing a telescopic east-west view channel of the city, Urban Scope is inspired by Taipei’s city skyline visible from this large open site in the heart of the city. Urban Scope is made up of 7 variations of the “skyline arch,” a zigzag structure with a 22m span over the historical railway station platform. Simple repetitions of the skyline arches resulted in a mass that is highly ordered yet organic in expression. The resultant mass evokes the speed and fluid energies of Asian cities. On this site where old meets new, Urban Scope becomes an instrument for observing the pulse of the city.
Reclaimed train tracks and wheels are laid on the sides of the historical platform to become tracks for Urban Scope to glide on. Urban Scope can contract or expand from 30m to 80m long to accommodate events of all types. The structure is surfaced with translucent raw fiberglass panels and industrial netting woven in a zigzag pattern, naturally lit and ventilated. The historical timeline of Huashan Station is etched onto the platform so visitors can walk through the history of the site as they enjoy the events. At night, the structure becomes a luminous body that echoes the city skyline in the distance.
Urban Scope, a telescopic urban theater on the historical platform of Huashan Station, takes the city skyline and transforms it into a new dynamic urban experience of Taipei.
Location: Taipei City, Taiwan
Client: Taipei City Urban Redevelopment Office
Program Function: Art/Culture
Architecture Design: XRANGE Architects
Site Area: 23,269 m2
Building Area: 880 m2